"A highly readable, innovative investigation of the potential political implications of popular music." -- Edward Bryan Portis, Texas A&M University
"Political science has too often ignored the critical political dimensions of music in social life. Now Mark Mattern has given us a groundbreaking examination of the varied political functions of populist musics-from social glue to social dynamite-as reflected in three fascinating, diverse, and disenfranchised case-study communities. Acting in Concert is, truly, music to intellectual ears." -- George H . Lewis, author of Side Saddle on the Golden Calf: Social Structure and Popular Culture in America and All That Glitters: Country Music in America
From the Back Cover
In this lively account of politics and popular music, Mark Mattern develops the concept "acting in concert," a metaphor for community-based political action through music. Through three detailed case studies of Chilean, Cajun and American Indian popular music. Mattern explores the way popular musicians forge community and lead members of their communities in several distinct kinds of political action that would be difficult or impossible among individuals who are not linked by communal ties.
More than just entertainment, Mattern argues that popular music can serve as a social glue for bringing together a multitude of voices that might otherwise remain silent, and that political action through music can increase the potential for relatively marginalized people to choose and determine their own fate.