The purpose of this book is to use music as a tool to help students understand the structure and process of social life. Sociologically, music is important because it simultaneously contains and reflects a people's language, values, feelings, concerns, and goals. The material in this innovative, compact supplement is current and relevant to the musical experiences of today's college and university students and includes a companion web site that features an instructor's guide, test bank, discussion questions, and links to relevant internet sites. To make the book easy to use in introductory sociology courses, it is structured along lines parallel to the way most instructors teach the course.
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Joseph A. Kotarba is Professor of Sociology at the University of Houston and is author of several books including a forthcoming work on baby boomers and rock and roll fans. His musical tastes range from Henry Purcell to Van Morrison.
Phillip Vannini is Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University. He is editor of Body/Embodiment and Material Culture and Technology in Everyday Life. His musical faith rests in the power of progressive hardcore and in the soothing melody of space and symphony rock.Review:
"Unique, novel, and refreshing! Understanding Society Through Popular Music is a stimulating and original approach to conventional sociological thought, and a great read for introductory sociology students as well as students of music and popular culture." –Dennis Waskul, Sociology, Minnesota State University, Mankato
"This book is exactly the kind students of sociology and popular culture will actually read, enjoy, and discuss! It’s clearly written, concise, insightful, personable, and filled with interesting examples. Kotarba and Vannini intelligently and accessibly illustrate the importance of popular music in everyday life and how popular music can illuminate the nature of social institutions, theories, and sociological concepts. Understanding Society Through Popular Music is a cutting edge approach to cultivating the sociological imagination." –Karen Halnon, Sociology, Penn State Abington
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