Music, Style, and Aging: Growing Old Disgracefully?
The image of the aging rock-and-roller is not just Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on stage in their sixties. In his timely book, Music, Style, and Aging, cultural sociologist Andy Bennett explains how people move on from youth and effectively grow older with popular music. For many aging followers of rock, punk, and other contemporary popular music genres, music is ingrained in their identities. Its meaning is highly personal and intertwined with the individual’s biographical development. Bennett studies these fans and how they have changed over time – through fashions, hairstyles, body modification, career paths, political orientations, and perceptions of and by the next generation. The significance of popular music for these fans is no longer tied exclusively to their youth. Bennett illustrates how the music that ‘mattered’ most to people in their youth continues to play an important role in their adult lives – a role that goes well beyond nostalgia.