Social/Behavioral Science Exploration
It has been about 60 years since the popular musical genre called rock and roll or rock 'n' roll made its appearance. Some even argue that it can trace its roots further back still to the mid-19th century in Manhattan's Five Points district where African and European influences combined to shape a new musical style. Whatever its roots and early beginnings, from its inception, rock and roll music has been a distinctly American blend with elements of blues, rhythms and blues, country, folk and gospel music. This wedding of musical styles in U.S. history with concomitant implications for social relations-race-and classed-based at the outset-is the central, focus of this course. Fundamentally, this course is a historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of rock and roll music. The course will examine rock music from its roots, to its appearance it the late 1940s and early 1950s, to its evolution throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. Students will be invited to explore the socio-cultural aspects reflected in and affected by this popular music including race and class relationships as well as some of the ways that institutions help to reinforce and shape musical genres.