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Séminaire sur la musimorphose à l’université Malaya

The Department of English

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

Universiti Malaya

is pleased to host 

“From Discomorphosis to Digimorphosis: French ‘Digital Natives’ and Music in Everyday Life”

A Seminar by

Professor Philippe Le Guern

 7 April 2015

10 AM – 12 Noon

Bilik Mesyuarat Dekan 1





The notion of “digital natives”, coined by Mark Prensky in 2001, describes the generation born into an environment where digital technologies had become the dominant standard. As Prensky explains it, the practices of digital natives display a complete break from those of the preceding generation.  In terms of music, the hypothesis can be made that with the globalization of digital technologies, it is not only music consumption but also the idea of music itself that has mutated.  The transition from discomorphosis to digimorphosis seems to have reconfigured, in a particularly salient way, the consumption practices of the youth generation and more generally the uses of music in their everyday life. This gives rise to the following questions: Do we collect and enjoy dematerialised works in the same way as we appreciate records? Is the issue of sound quality still relevant for users now in the habit of listening to music from compressed files? Does the fact that music is a payable good still have meaning for new generations of listeners? In this presentation, I will describe first of all the specificities of the music market in France. Then, I will talk about illegal downloading and anti-piracy laws, a central element of the public policies in France. Finally, I will present the first results of a survey on schoolchildren and music.

About the Speaker

Dr Philippe Le Guern is a sociologist and Full Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, University of Nantes, France and, until July 2015, a Visiting Research Associate with the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya. He is currently leading a national research program, titled “Musimorphoses”, on music in the everyday life of “digital natives” in France. He has edited books and special issues of journals and published papers on popular music and culture, fan culture and digital technologies.  His publications in English include: Le Guern, P. and Dauncey, H. (eds), Stereo: Comparative Perspectives on the Sociological Study of Popular Music in France and Britain, Ashgate, 2010;  Le Guern, P., “The Heritage Obsession: History of Rock and Challenges of  ‘Museum Mummification’: A French Perspective” in Cohen, S. et al (eds), Sites of Popular Music Heritage, Routledge, 2014; and Le Guern, P. and  Guesdon, M., “Retromania: Crisis of the Progressive Ideal and Pop Music Spectrality”, in Niemeyer, K (ed.), Media and Nostalgia. Yearning for the Past, Present and Future, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. He blogs at: