Countercultures and Popular Music: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Countercultures and Popular Music

1st Edition

By Sheila Whiteley, Jedediah Sklower


316 pages

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’Counterculture’ emerged as a term in the late 1960s and has been re-deployed in more recent decades in relation to other forms of cultural and socio-political phenomena. This volume provides an essential new academic scrutiny of the concept of ’counterculture’ and a critical examination of the period and its heritage. Recent developments in sociological theory complicate and problematise theories developed in the 1960s, with digital technology, for example, providing an impetus for new understandings of counterculture. Music played a significant part in the way that the counterculture authored space in relation to articulations of community by providing a shared sense of collective identity. Not least, the heady mixture of genres provided a socio-cultural-political backdrop for distinctive musical practices and innovations which, in relation to counterculture ideology, provided a rich experiential setting in which different groups defined their relationship both to the local and international dimensions of the movement, so providing a sense of locality, community and collective identity.


"…a brilliant, and highly accessible, collection of essays."

- Dr Christina Ballico, Griffith University, Australia

About the Authors

Sheila Whiteley was Professor Emeritus, the University of Salford, Visiting Professor, Southampton Solent University, UK and Research Fellow, the Bader International Study Centre, Queen’s University (Canada). Among her many publications: The Space Between the Notes: Rock and the Counter Culture (1992); Women and Popular Music (2000); and Too Much Too Young (2005). A PhD candidate in cultural history and communication sciences (university of Paris 3), Jedediah Sklower teaches communication studies at Sciences Po Paris and popular music history and aesthetics at the Catholic University of Lille. He has been a member of the editorial team of the French journal of popular music studies Volume! since 2008. He published Free jazz, la catastrophe féconde. Une histoire du monde éclaté du jazz en France (1960-1982) (L’Harmattan, 2006), edited a special issue of Volume! dedicated to 'listening' (Éditions Mélanie Seteun, 2013). He also co-organised the 'Changing the Tune: Popular Music and Politics in the XXIst century' international conference in June 2013, with Alenka Barber-Kersovan (ASPM) and Elsa Grassy (IASPM-bfe).

About the Series

Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series

Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.

Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural