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Popular Music and Society, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-7456-3162-2
288 pages
May 2007, Polity
Popular Music and Society, 2nd Edition (0745631622) cover image
This new edition of Popular Music and Society, fully revised and updated, continues to pioneer an approach to the study of popular music that is informed by wider debates in sociology and media and cultural studies. Astute and accessible, it continues to set the agenda for research and teaching in this area.

The textbook begins by examining the ways in which popular music is produced, before moving on to explore its structure as text and the ways in which audiences understand and use music. Packed with examples and data on the contemporary production and consumption of popular music, the book also includes overviews and critiques of theoretical approaches to this exciting area of study and outlines the most important empirical studies which have shaped the discipline.

Topics covered include:

* The contemporary organisation of the music industry;
* The effects of technological change on production;
* The history and politics of popular music;
* Gender, sexuality and ethnicity;
* Subcultures;
* Fans and music celebrities.

For this new edition, two whole new chapters have been added: on performance and the body, and on the very latest ways of thinking about audiences and the spaces and places of music consumption.

This second edition of Popular Music and Society will continue to be required reading for students of the sociology of culture, media and communication studies, and popular culture.
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  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • List of Boxes
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. Constraints and Creativity: Arguments and Framework
  • 2. The Pop Music Industry
  • 3. The Social Production of Music
  • 4. History, Politics and Sexuality
  • 5. ‘Black’ Music: Genres and Social Constructions
  • 6. Texts and Meaning
  • 7. Performance, Dance, Distinction and the Body
  • 8. Effects, Audiences and Subcultures
  • 9. Fans, Production and Consumption
  • 10. Beyond Subcultures and Fans: New Audiences, Scenes and Everyday Life
  • Conclusions
  • Further Reading
  • References
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Brian Longhurst is Professor of Sociology at the University of Salford.
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  • A new edition of a popular and well respected textbook
  • Has been thoroughly revised and updated, with over a third of the book being new material and including a new final chapter on new technologies and everyday life consumption of music
  • Pitched at an introductory level, with lots of examples, extracts and figures for illustration
  • Designed to map as required reading on popular music courses, which are usually found in media and cultural studies or sociology departments
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"I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to both students and scholars interested in the sociology of music. This is a great text if you are looking for a clear and lucid introduction to the subject."

"A useful introductory textbook designed for undergraduate-level students of popular music, media and cultural studies and sociology. It reviews a vast range of sociological research in a palatable form, with informative examples, illustrations, case studies, press cuttings, figures and lengthy quotes."
Sociological Review

"Brian Longhurst provides a comprehensive view of contemporary popular music. He shows its role in shaping fan scenes and sub-cultures. He sees it as text to be read in the lyrics, but also through dance, the body and political context. And he exposes the commercial machine that determines which songs and genres do, and do not, get wide exposure. This work will be a prime resource for students and scholars alike for years to come."
Richard A. Peterson, Vanderbilt University

"This revised and updated edition of Popular Music and Society contains new chapters to take into account the impact of theories of performativity and the body on popular music studies and the role of music in everyday life in a post-subcultural age. The book is a model of clarity and incisive thought, for which students will be eternally grateful."
Helen Thomas, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

"A thoughtful and systematic introduction, full of up-to-date information, this book speaks simultaneously to students of socio-musical analysis and to all of us for whom music matters."
Tia DeNora, University of Exeter

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