More about my research and thesis

The global prominence of contemporary popular and protest music has been well documented – particularly in the field of cultural studies – as having played a significant role in shaping public consciousness and the social and cultural history of the last almost 60 years. Indeed, a ‘popular myth’ exists in mass-mediated culture (see for example Eyerman and Jamison 1998) that suggests or even accepts that protest music has been an inspiration for or led to processes of, or even been a catalyst for social change.

Consider for a moment, particularly films in ‘Western culture’ depicting events of the 1960s, such as the American–Vietnam War or the Civil Rights movement, and think about the soundtracks to such films. Think about the relationships between the music of that time and the events such as protests depicted in those films.

My thesis

The aim of my thesis is to explore whether popular or protest music has been an inspiration for or led to processes of social change; and whether this has involved processes of learning and/or education. Popular and protest music’s role in shaping public consciousness and the social and cultural history of the last almost 60 years is relatively well documented. However, while connections are often drawn between popular music and social change in popular culture such as films, and the mass media, the role of protest music and its influence in processes of social change is relatively under-researched and under-theorised.

Research project framework…

My research uses a framework based on the relationships between three ‘topic domains’ that are present in the title of my thesis,

  • Contemporary popular and/or protest music;
  • Adult learning and education; and
  • Social change.

You will see in the diagram below that I have also represented another very important topic or domain that I am referring to as the ‘global mass-(multi)media’. This is where contemporary popular and protest music is released and performed, and includes the radio, television and the music industry. I argue that this is where the audience hear and see the music that might lead or inspire people to social change.

 

thesis framework

Pedagogy of Pop thesis framework

 

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