Abstract only

2 Music worlds In the previous chapter I suggested that punk and post-punk are best conceived, for sociological purposes, as ‘music worlds’, a concept I  adapt from Howard Becker’s notion of ‘art worlds’ (1951, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1995, 2004, 2006a, 2006b; Faulkner and Becker 2009; see also Bottero and Crossley 2011; Finnegan 1989; Lopes 2002; Martin 1995, 2005, 2006a, 2006b). In this chapter I elaborate upon this concept. Before I do, however, I briefly review three alternative conceptions, explaining why I have chosen ‘music worlds’ over them. As much

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
The punk and post-punk worlds of Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, 1975–80

This book argues that punk and post-punk, whatever their respective internal stylistic heterogeneity, enjoyed 'sociological reality' in Samuel Gilmore's and Howard Becker's sense. It elaborates the concept of 'music worlds', contrasting it with alternatives from the sociological literature. In particular it contrasts it with the concepts 'subculture', 'scene' and 'field'. The book then outlines a number of concepts which allow us to explore the localised process in which punk took shape in a sociologically rigorous manner. In particular it discusses the concepts of 'critical mass' and 'social networks'. The book also applies these concepts to the London punk world of 1976. It considers how talk about punk migrated from face-to-face networks to mass media networks and the effects of that shift. Continuing the discussion of punk's diffusion and growth, the book considers how punk worlds took shape in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. In addition, however, the book offers a more technical analysis of the network structures of the post-punk worlds of the three cities. Furthermore, extending this analysis, and combining qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis, the book considers how activities in different local post-punk worlds were themselves linked in a network, constituting a national post-punk world.

Abstract only
The social life of music

This book argues that music is an integral part of society – one amongst various interwoven forms of social interaction which comprise our social world; and shows that it has multiple valences which embed it within that wider world. Musical interactions are often also economic interactions, for example, and sometimes political interactions. They can be forms of identity work and contribute to the reproduction or bridging of social divisions. These valances allow music both to shape and be shaped by the wider network of relations and interactions making up our societies, in their local, national and global manifestations. The book tracks and explores these valances, combining a critical consideration of the existing literature with the development of an original, ‘relational’ approach to music sociology. The book extends the project begun in Crossley’s earlier work on punk and post-punk ‘music worlds’, revisiting this concept and the network ideas underlying it whilst both broadening the focus through a consideration of wider musical forms and by putting flesh on the bones of the network idea by considering the many types of interaction and relationships involved in music and the meanings which music has for its participants. Patterns of connection between music’s participants are important, whether they be performers, audience members or one of the various ‘support personnel’ who mediate between performers and audiences. However, so are the different uses to which participants put their participation and the meanings they co-create. These too must be foci for a relational music sociology.

The musical universe and its worlds

4 Mainstream and beyond: the musical universe and its worlds In the previous chapter, I introduced the idea of a mainstream music world connected to various alternative worlds in what I will henceforth call ‘the musical universe’ (see also Crossley and Emms 2016). The musical universe is the set of all musical activities within a particular society, either national or global. It comprises different worlds of musical activity, including – but not exclusively – a mainstream world. In this chapter, I unpack and discuss these ideas, sharpening up my concept of

in Connecting sounds
Critical mass, collective effervescence, social networks and social space

music worlds emerge as an effect of collective effervescence within a networked critical mass of actors who are defined by shared interests of some sort. This argument rests upon four claims: 1 The number of potential participants for a collective action must exceed a particular threshold (critical mass) if that action is to be triggered. 2 This is more likely in large concentrated populations, such as big cities, because, all things being equal, potential participants exist in greater numbers within larger general populations. 3 Mass is not sufficient. Members of

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Publics, protest and the avant-garde

, his critique of popular music. Adorno’s views are problematic but they need to be discussed and serve as a useful foil for progressing to a better perspective. Next, I consider the idea that music can generate a political public sphere, a suggestion which sparks the further idea that music can be a political resource and, indeed, politics a musical resource. Finally, I reflect upon the idea that some music worlds constitute alternative spaces which facilitate experimentation with different forms of life, potentially prefiguring political change. Adorno and the avant

in Connecting sounds
Abstract only

11 Conclusion In this book, drawing upon Howard Becker’s (1982) concept of ‘art worlds’, I have conceptualised punk and post-punk as ‘music worlds’ existing both on the local, city level and also spanning towns and cities, on a national level. Concentrating upon the 1975–80 period I have tried to explain: 1 The emergence of the first UK punk world, in London. 2 The process of diffusion which carried punk to other towns and cities, leading to the emergence of punk worlds in those cities too. 3 The transformation of punk, in several of these worlds, into

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Abstract only

1 Introduction When I was 10 years old I was introduced to a ‘music world’ (on ‘worlds’ see below and Chapter 2) which had a huge impact upon me. The excitement I experienced in relation to punk gave me a lifelong passion for music. It established music as a key element in my identity and relationships, wedding me to practices of record-buying, gig-going and rudimentary music-making which I still participate in with passion today. Moreover, beyond music, punk aroused my interest in politics, the society I lived in and various fascinating political and aesthetic

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
Abstract only
Post-punk worlds as networks

networks, teasing out similarities and differences, and identifying plausible explanations of both. In doing this I pay particular attention to the role of other key elements of music worlds: i.e. resources, places and conventions. I have argued in previous chapters that networks shape these other elements but this effect is reciprocal and I want to explore this. I begin with a discussion of basic network parameters. Basic network parameters The basic properties of each of the networks are presented in Table 9.1. Although there is some interesting variation, the

in Networks of sound, style and subversion

5 Micro-mobilisation and the network structure of the London punk world This chapter has two aims. First, to demonstrate how the theory of micro-mobilisation outlined in Chapter 4 applies to and explains the emergence of punk in London during 1976. Second, preparing for what follows in Chapter 6, to offer a preliminary analysis of the social network which underpinned the London punk world. The theory of micro-mobilisation begins with the claim that the collective action generative of a music world requires a critical mass of suitably motivated and resourced

in Networks of sound, style and subversion