Professor Les Back
Date: December 6, 2016
The paper will focus on the relationship between music, theoretical thinking and sociological craft. This argument is made through the hidden musical lives of sociologists. It explores a range of examples from the link between music and Max Weber’s theorisation of bureaucracy to Howard Becker’s grounding in field research in the Chicago jazz clubs and the impact of Paul Gilroy’s guitar playing on his understanding of the cultures of the African diaspora. It argues that in all of these cases music and music making have played a key role in shaping the ideas of cultural and social theorists and their ways of understanding the social world.