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Music, Style, and Aging

Growing Old Disgracefully?

Andy Bennett

Publication Year: 2013

 The image of the aging rock-and-roller is not just Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on stage in their sixties.  In his timely book Music, Style, and Aging, cultural sociologist Andy Bennett explains how people move on from youth and effectively grow older with popular music.

For many aging followers of rock, punk, and other contemporary popular genres, music is ingrained in their identities.  Its meaning is highly personal and intertwined with the individual's biographical development.  Bennett studies these fans and how they have changed over time--through fashions, hairstyles, body modification, career paths, political orientations, and perceptions of and by the next generation.

The significance of popular music for these fans is no longer tied exclusively to their youth.  Bennett illustrates how the music? that "mattered" to most people in their youth continues to play an important role in their adult lives--a role that goes well beyond nostalgia.

Published by: Temple University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

This book has been some ten years in the making. During that time I have become a parent, lived and worked on three different continents, met many new and inspiring people, and grieved the passing of several people who were very dear to me. ...

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Introduction: A Life-Changing Thing

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pp. 1-10

The beginning of the twenty-first century marks an interesting and highly significant period in contemporary popular music history. Almost every living generation in the Westernized world has grown up in an age during which popular music has been a pivotal element of the global media and cultural industries, ...

I / Contextualizing Popular Music and Aging

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1 / Popular Music and the Aging Audience

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pp. 13-41

In June 1996, when veteran U.K. punk rockers the Sex Pistols performed their twentieth-anniversary reunion concert at London’s Finsbury Park, early into the band’s set lead singer John Lydon (alias Johnny Rotten) is reputed to have said to the audience, “Forty, fat, and back!”1 ...

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2 / Individual and Collective Lifestyles of Aging Popular Music Audiences

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pp. 42-64

Chapter 1 began the task of mapping the social and cultural terrains of the aging baby-boomer and post-boomer generations in the context of late modernity. In this chapter, I discuss the aging music audiences themselves—or, more specifically, their role as active agents, ...

II / Case Studies

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3 / Toning Down the Mohawk: Music, Style, and Aging

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pp. 67-93

A characteristically defining feature of popular music genres from the 1950s onward has been the stylistic innovations that have grown up around them. Almost every post–Second World War popular music genre, from rock ’n’ roll through hard rock and glam to punk, goth, and hip-hop, ...

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4 / Career Opportunities: Work, Leisure, and the Aging Popular Music Fan

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pp. 94-122

The relationship between popular music, work, and leisure has been only thinly mapped in existing academic work. Part of the problem here arguably relates to an overemphasis on music itself as a source of work and/or revenue. Studies that consider the vocational qualities of popular music tend to focus on musicians (Cohen 1991), DJs (Langlois 1992), ...

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5 / “This Is ‘Dad House’”: Continuity and Conflict among Multigenerational Music Audiences

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pp. 123-150

Throughout this book, it has been noted occasionally how many of those popular music scenes that continue to be categorized under the banner of youth culture are now, in fact, essentially multigenerational. The existence of common tastes in popular music, style, and attendant cultural resources across the generations has led to claims that the concept of youth, ...

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6 / Still “Changing the World”? Music, Aging, and Politics

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pp. 151-178

The previous chapters in this book have all considered, in various ways, the long-term influence of popular music on the lives of aging fans. One issue not yet examined, but clearly worthy of discussion, is the impact of music on the political values of aging popular music fans. ...

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Conclusion: Too Old to Rock and Roll?

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pp. 179-184

In the introduction to this book, it was noted that, although the aging popular music fan is by no means a unique product of late modernity, the relationship between popular music, media, and consumption that emerged during the 1950s did have a significant bearing on the everyday importance of popular music from there on as a cultural form and a cultural resource. ...

Appendix: A Note on Methodology

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pp. 185-188


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pp. 189-202


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pp. 203-210

E-ISBN-13: 9781439908099
E-ISBN-10: 1439908095
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439908082
Print-ISBN-10: 1439908087

Page Count: 210
Publication Year: 2013