There is plenty of interest in music and music related topics within interactionist sociology. Save for the large amount of research articles and book reviews in Symbolic Interaction we have the SSSI Music blog where J Sumerau and others explore music with an interactionist lens. Whilst music is largely seen in the context of culture and leisure as well as occasionally in the context of work there is a growing interest in the relationship between music and wellbeing. With regard to this latter discussion Lee Blackstone (SUNY Old Westbury) who recently published “The Aural and Moral Idylls of “Englishness” and Folk Music” in Symbolic Interaction“, has reviewed three books for our journal, “Sounding out Music and Health: Transforming Selfhood and Social Life through Musicking”:
Music Asylums: Wellbeing Through Music in Everyday Life. By Tia DeNora (Routledge, 2016)
How Music Helps in Music Therapy and Everyday Life. By Gary Ansdell (Routledge, 2016)
Musical Pathways inRecovery: Community Music Therapy and Mental Wellbeing. By Gary Ansdell and Tia DeNora, with Sarah Wilson (Routledge, 2016)
Blackstone writes that the “arc of the trilogy reinforces the notion that music may lead to momentous change—not necessarily in some mystical fashion, but rather in the here-and-now of lived experience”, and then asks “how does music lend itself to transformative moments, not only in a therapeutic environment, but also in everyday life?”. Whilst the three books do not take an explicitly interactionist perspective Blackstone manages to show not only how their overarching themes relate to (symbolic) interactionism, but also to argue that an “immersion into an ecological approach toward health and wellness provides a broader analytical palette to evaluate the interrelationship between the construction of individual selves and social life.”
SSSI members can download Lee Blackstone’s review by clicking the image below. To join SSSI and subscribe to Symbolic Interaction from $31 (£23) please click HERE.