Adams, Rebecca G., and Robert Sardiello (eds.). Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna Learn What You Don't Want to Know.
This book is not a critical study of social science but a collection of serious interdisciplinary, and typically participant-observation studies of fans of the rock band, "The Grateful Dead." The fans have, in the authors' opinion, become a widespread community and are sympathetically known as "Deadheads." Initially, the papers were written when the authors were graduate students, young enough to enter into the spirit of the rock music subculture.
Adams defends the scholarly significance of this study of a popular music phenomenon:
In the beginning of each chapter, the author describes the interconnections between his or her histories as a Deadhead and as a scholar. These narratives chronicle the personal and professional development that these former students experienced as they wrote the papers ... Along with the chapters themselves, these stories demonstrate the importance of faculty encouraging students to pursue research topics of personal interest to them. (p. 15)
The Deadhead subculture included drug use and was generally condemned by the "dominant culture" as deviant. Jeremy Ritzer, writing from an anthropological perspective, notes how this and similar popular, but "subversive" manifestations are coopted by the dominant culture:
In terms of the Deadhead culture, the widespread distribution of symbols or products normally associated with the culture can be seen as an effort by a frightened dominant society to undermine the threat posed by these symbols and products, or as a savvy financial decision to exploit a popular phenomenon. (p. 260)
Author and subject indexes are included, as are brief biographies of the 12 authors, 2 photographers, and the cover artist.
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|Publication:||Communication Research Trends|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2000|
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