Towards a New Theory of the Sociology of Music As Leisure

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:40
Oral Presentation
Karl SPRACKLEN, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Many leisure theorists have explored music sub-cultures and spaces as sites of identity-making. Sociological research on many forms of popular music, from folk to heavy metal, have explored the way in which such music is constructed in work places blurred into laboured leisure spaces, disseminated through the tools of capitalism, and consumed and re-made by audiences. The dominant paradigm in the sociology of popular music is one that rejects Frankfurt School determinism for one that fetishes everyday practices and human agency. In this paper, I will show that both leisure theorists and sociologists of popular music have a similar transformative view of popular music and music as leisure, which they draw ultimately from their own shared enculturation in the bourgeois taste of academics. I will show how this has led to the dismissal of particular sub-genres and leisure spaces as uninteresting or inauthentic. I will then lay out a new theory of the sociology of music as leisure that sees all music and leisure as contested, constructed and constrained.