How popular music reshaped high school status networks

One side effect of the rise of popular musicians to media stars, and the displacement of couples dancing by musical performance-watching, was to make music concerts into an alternative gathering place to the arenas dominated by the traditional school elites, the jocks and popular party-goers and stars of the dating market.  As popular music consumption became the central identifying point of youth cultures, it also came to support greater pluralism in student status hierarchies, punk and other alternative culture groups acquired their own venues where they could generate their own collective effervescence, dominating in their own emotional attention spaces.  Moshers became the leading edge of punk culture, the attention-getters within their chief cultural rituals and gathering places.  Not surprisingly, there is strong antagonism between moshers and jocks, their chief counterparts in the use of controlled violence in the conventional youth culture.

That is from Randall Collins, Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory.  Here is my previous post on the book.  By the way, if you find questions like this interesting, it is yet another reason to watch the TV show Friday Night Lights.


Comments for this post are closed