Very readable - not at all dry and academic. It draws you in with its focus on a couple of characters. But at the point where Philippe finds out distr...moreVery readable - not at all dry and academic. It draws you in with its focus on a couple of characters. But at the point where Philippe finds out distressing information about the people he's been spending time with, the reader is, like him, too invested to drop out.
I do feel that he is perhaps more interested in pathology than in what helps people function. In the book's epilogues, many of the dealers are now former dealers. The question of what enabled them to move on is not really examined.(less)
Interesting book by a straight-edge sociologist who studied the straight-edge scene, primarily in Denver, Colorado. I was familiar with the Dick Hebid...moreInteresting book by a straight-edge sociologist who studied the straight-edge scene, primarily in Denver, Colorado. I was familiar with the Dick Hebidge school of subcultural theory (aka Birmingham Unicersity's Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.) However, Hanfler argues that the CCCS' focus on style shortchanges other forms of resistance. In the third chapter, he examines sXe as a social movement rather than as a style-based subculture. Haenfler draws parallels to the gay and lesbian movement in terms of a movement that is not only bounded by formal organizations, but is in part based on individuals' expressions and identifications.
Haenfler discusses masculinity and the role of women within straightedge. He has a feminist viewpoint and points out straight edge's need to be more inclusive to women as one of its biggest areas for improvement.
The book has good footnotes and references, but the index is somewhat lacking - while there is an entry for "homophobia, opposition to", there is no index reference to the comparisons of straight edge with the gay and lesbian movement that pepper the book. Also the referenced writers are not listed in the index, and not all bands mentioned are in the index.
I think Haenfler's approach could be useful for a sociologist studying other youth movements, particularly riot grrrl and queercore. Also, I think that someone needs to do a sociological study of drunk/gutter punks.
My copy is a third printing, so apparently it is being bought, hopefully both by "the kids" and by academics.(less)
The author is a sociologist who was a member of an all-women band The Mistakes, who were based in Oxford, England starting in 1978. Apparently Simon F...moreThe author is a sociologist who was a member of an all-women band The Mistakes, who were based in Oxford, England starting in 1978. Apparently Simon Frith was her PhD tutor. She started with a study of women musicians in bands in the early 80s. However, after her thesis was completed, she was not able to publish a book immediately. So she undertook another round of research and interviews in the mid-90s, at the time of Riot Grrrl (though most of the women she interviewed saw British Riot Grrrl as a media construct that they didn't want to be a part of.) Therefore she had two groups of women to compare.
She notes in the introduction that the book is intentionally written in an accessible manner - it is not dry and doesn't suffer from critical theory language problems.
Due to the way the research was conducted, some of the musicians from the earlier cohort (i.e. the era this mailing list focuses on) are referred to by pseudonyms. There are some "name" musicians she interviewed for the book, like Judy Parsons of the Belle Stars (who was also in The Mistakes), Debbie Smith, Skin, Natasha Atlas, Amelia Fletcher, Candida Doyle, Emma Anderson of Lush, Gail Greenwood of Belly, Manda Rin of Bis, Vi Subversa, and Vicki Aspinall. There are also interviewees who were in more locally-based bands.
Unfortunately the book was only ever published in hardcover from an academic press, so is expensive to own, but I checked it out from the SF Public Library and it should be available from many libraries or via interlibrary loan.(less)
Several of the footnotes about homosexuality reference Evelyn Hooker (whose works could stand to be collected into a book - also, it seems that the documentary on her is not easily available, although there is a short video of her on YouTube.
I was also interested to see a reference to the book The Little Locksmith, which had recently been recommended.
While slightly dated in language and heavier on theory and anecdote than research and statistics, it is nonetheless an important work. Could stand to have an index, though. (less)
Excellent book on the sociology of homelessness in San Francisco. The second chapter is an overview of societal methods of dealing with poverty and ho...moreExcellent book on the sociology of homelessness in San Francisco. The second chapter is an overview of societal methods of dealing with poverty and homelessness from the time of Martin Luther onward (I did not know about Martin Luther's book "Liber Vagatorum" or book of vagabonds in which he says that beggars are in league with corrupt priests.) In addition to world history, there is also specific history about San Francisco, including the Matrix program of the Frank Jordan era through Care Not Cash.
Gowan discusses the dialog around constructions of poverty - a moral viewpoint where sin is the cause, a disease viewpoint, and a systemic viewpoint. She points out that these discourses are taken up not only by authorities but also by homeless people themselves. A self-described "bad boy" is buying into the sin-talk viewpoint; the sick-talk viewpoint is common among people who have left the street through 12-step recovery; system talk is formulated in various ways, including identification with veterans who have been abandoned by the system.
The author started out her research with homeless recyclers, and informants (though she purposely doesn't use that word, with its connotations of snitching) from that group are the most clearly focused. Through doing the work of recycling, homeless recyclers are able to reinforce a working-class identity.
I'm surprised that this book apparently hasn't been reviewed in the local press (did Street Sheet even write anything about it?)(less)