The sociological study of popular music is now an established sub-discipline of the field. Significantly, however, in charting the cultural significance of popular music much sociological work continues to prioritise youth. In this lecture, Andy Bennett draws on his ongoing work on popular music and ageing as a means of both readdressing the dominant focus on youth and exploding popular stereotypes of ageing music fans as being driven primarily by nostalgia.Utilising cultural sociological perspectives framed around issues of lifestyle, fragmented culture and reflexive modernity, Bennett examines how long term personal investment in a particular music style has influenced ageing fans’ lifestyles and shaped their biographies in relation to issues such as body image, employment, peer and family relations, and political and / or spiritual outlook. Bennett will then go on to consider the implications of his research findings for broader debates centring around issues of ageing and cultural participation in the context of late modernity.
Andy Bennett is Professor of Cultural Sociology and Director of the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He has authored and edited numerous books including Popular Music and Youth Culture, Cultures of Popular Music, Remembering Woodstock, and Music Scenes (with Richard A. Peterson). Bennett is currently lead Chief Investigator on a three-year, five country project Australian Research Council funded project entitled ‘Popular Music and Cultural Memory: Localised popular music histories and their significance for national music industries’. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sociology, a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Cultural Sociology,Yale University, and an Associate Member of PopuLUs, the Centre for the Study of the World’s Popular Musics, Leeds University.