From Library Journal
Coeditor Adams (sociology, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro) has compiled a dozen essays by undergraduate and graduate students who studied the Grateful Dead subculture of the 1980s and early 1990s with her. After outlining the Dead's history and subculture and the cooperative learning of her Deadhead social-science class, Adams offers a quantitative analysis of the songs the Dead played and the evolution of a Dead cover band. In an engaging section on spirituality, one student examines the Dead subculture as a secular religion, and another focuses on a communal, dervish-like group that incorporated Dead lyrics into their beliefs. Four essays describe the characteristics of the Dead subculture and examine various motivations for joining the Deadhead community. Though usually professing to be Deadheads, the authors over-intellectualize a band and fans who pride themselves on spontaneity and serendipity. They tend to shackle the free-minded Deadhead spirit with sociological theories that add little to an understanding of the Deadhead phenomenon. Not recommended.
-Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book is a must read for those with a passion for teaching, for those who are truly engaged in their research and, perhaps most importantly, for those who can conceive of research and teaching as one in the same enterprise. (Vincent J. Rosigno Qualitative Sociology)
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Well-edited and clearly written...it should appeal to lay or academic audiences interested in subcultures, identity and those who would like to meld their teaching and research interests into that of teacher/scholar. As a whole, the books shows us how a subculture can lead to interest among students, how they can see the world through various lenses, and the richness that can result when students and teachers collaborate. It seems that rarely do researchers have a chance to match their research and leisure activities. In this instance, they have done both and produced scholarly results. (William F. Danaher Contemporary Sociology)
the book is a very well written and edited example of the value of encouraging students to pursue their own interests in their academic endeavors. There are likely areas of study--such as Deadhead subculture--that almost require the work of students, less constrained by academic career concerns than their professors, to get the ball rolling. The Grateful Dead were so loved by their fans in large part because the fans were an integral part of the ongoing musical and cultural exploration, and Adams and Sardiello demonstrate the fruits of applying the same collaborative spirit in an academic context. (Russell Cole Journal Of Anthropological Research, Vol. 58, 2002)
Research can be fun, fun can be research. Teachers can be students, students can be teachers. Adams and Sardiello prove that beyond doubting in this well-researched and interesting book. (Becker, Howard S.)