‘More than a feeling’: Classic Rock Fantasies and the Musical Imagination of Neoliberalism

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Abstract: This essay demonstrates how Classic Rock is a master signifier for the fantasy of the neoliberal autonomy of individualism. The argument presented is that Classic Rock is conducive with the seven cornerstones of Lacanian fantasy as postulated by Slavoj Žižek (schema of wholeness, occlusion of antagonism, intersubjectivity, immersion in Law, gaze of the Other, inherent transgression, and the empty gesture), as coordinated by a select multitude of its subgenres that stand in as objects of desire for the Master Signifier of ‘Classic Rock’: soft rock, hard rock, glam rock, art rock, and punk rock. By analysing Classic Rock through the trope of the Master Signifier, the ideological coordinates of neoliberal fantasy could potentially weaken the transparency of free trade, realising a possibility of radical autonomy that denies the injunction to desire. This essay thus contributes to our understanding of the political significance of Classic Rock.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-262
    Number of pages18
    JournalCulture, Theory and Critique
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015


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