This book explores the trend of retro and nostalgia within contemporary popular music culture. Using empirical evidence obtained from a case study of fans’ engagement with older music, the book argues that retro culture is the result of an inseparable mix of cultural and technological changes, namely, the rise of a new generation and cultural mood along with the encouragement of new technologies. Retro culture has become a hot topic in recent years but this is the first time the subject has been explored from an academic perspective and from the fans’ perspective. As such, this book promises to provide concrete answers about why retro culture dominates in contemporary society.
For the first time ever, this book provides an empirically grounded theory of popular music, retro culture and its intergenerational audience in the twenty-first century. It will appeal to advanced students of popular music studies, cultural studies, media studies, sociology and music.
Table of Contents
1. There is no now: welcome to the age of retro culture
2. Popular music, youth, and aging
3. Retro culture in the digital era
4. Generation units of retro fans
5. The hauntological structure of feeling
6. Technological determinism and retro culture
7. Back to the future
Jean Hogarty is an independent scholar currently working at the Economic and Social Research Institute, having previously lectured at NUI Maynooth.
"[T]his publication is a thought-provoking work that suggests new ways to interpret current engagement with popular music from the past, particularly among the younger generation. The text guides the reader through the investigation, clearly making the links between theoretical and empirical work. There is something here for both the casual or serious popular music scholar seeking to understand why pop's past continues to exert influence on contemporary music. The book succeeds in opening the conversation to new voices, away from the often-nostalgic reflections of those who experienced the 'golden age' as young fans and confirms (if confirmation were required) that the past, present, and future of popular music are, and will continue to be, fascinating areas for debate and study."
David Kane, Birmingham City University, International Association for the Study of Popular Music