Since technique and social identity are interlinked, the only sensible way for popular music studies to proceed is on the basis of an interdisciplinary awareness willing to traverse various methodologies, all vying to shape the disciplinary object in a particular way. Now that art music is also studied as a contextual medium, musicology is becoming increasingly familiar with strategies accepted in the study of popular music. This chapter examines attempts to understand the production processes of popular music, and looks at how culture is socially embedded. It considers the competing claims made by sociological and musicological readings, with a view to better interdisciplinary understanding. The chapter discusses how music can reflect on its component discourses and explains why some performance styles and traditions are considered to be more authentic than others. It considers how identity is constructed in music and contemplates what it means for music to offer a range of subject positions to be readily exchanged and consumed.