Sunday, May 30, 2010

Presenting on Popular Music and the Middle Class

On Thursday, June 3, I'll be presenting a paper, "Popular Music and the Middle Class: Problems and Potentials in the Study of 'Dominant' Formations," at the joint IASPM-CSTM conference at the University of Regina.

It will discuss some of the stumbling blocks I found when studying both Rush and the singer-songwriter movement in relation to the North American middle class.

I'll be talking about the aversion to talking about class, and the seeming "invisibility" of the middle class, as two preliminary problems.

But I'm particularly interested in how the recieved wisdom and myths about the middle class weasel their way into the discussion, even if you try to avoid them. And I'm interested in how these myths seem to come from a place of embarassment or even self-hatred, since most studies of the middle class are actually studies of the self (that is, studies by middle-class writers about the class they come from).

Thus, we get the middle class as dull, as sick, as gentrifiers, and so on.

I'll post more about this, and how it relates to music, when I return.