COMM 1168 - Music and Social Change

By understanding the different ways music operates ideologically and socially, and by putting this topic in a historical context, students can place themselves in the shoes of others from different backgrounds. To this end, Music & Social Change offers an overview of the social, cultural, political, and industrial conditions involved in producing popular music—including (but not limited to) how: blues and jazz grew out of specific geographic contexts; folk music was connected to the labor movement of the 1930s; the backlash against rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s reflected then-current conflicts around race in America; soul and gospel music helped inspire, and was inspired by, the civil rights movement of the 1960s; glam rock and disco in the 1970s reshaped our understanding of human sexuality and gender difference; hip-hop altered the racial-cultural-musical landscape of popular culture in the 1990s. One of the other ways that Music & Social Change accomplishes this particular outcome is by putting students with different musical tastes in conversation with one another, allowing them to discuss openly the roots, cultural politics, and broader social significance of different musical taste cultures. As this course demonstrates, taste isn’t simply a personal preference, but is one that is deeply informed by the society they live in.
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Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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