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Sells like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814757482
ISBN-10: 0814757480
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sells Like Teen Spirit combines a fascinating ethnography of San Diego’s punk subculture with a profound rumination on the exhaustion of social movements and the emptiness of consumer culture in our society. Moore helps us see how large changes in economics and social relations manifest themselves in seemingly small sites and practices in our everyday lives.”

-George Lipsitz,author of Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music



“Moore’s strength is his obvious admiration for the bands and genres he highlights. He is a first-class music journalist and historian and when he delves into a particular subculture like the “econo” ethos of the Minutemen, the Dickies use of “snortcore” or Minor Threat’s creation of straightedge, the reader is richly rewarded.

-PopMatters.com



“Moore’s deeply personal take on the historical significance of heavy metal is also a refreshing addition to the independent music canon.”
-CampusProgress.org



"In his book Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music Youth Culture and Social Crisis, Ryan Moore brilliantly situates the histories of several musical styles within the political, economic, and social changes that lead to the development of an assortment of rock subgenres. Moore's engaging book is for scholars of youth culture, pop culture, and any who are interested in music history."
-Douglas N. Evans,Journal of Youth and Adolescence

“With endearing authenticity and proper reverence, Moore skillfully articulates the brutal social truths that compel young people to create meaning and subculture out of chaos and anomie. Somewhere, Walter Benjamin and the Ramones are slamming through another brilliant set shouting, ‘Hey ho, let’s go!!’ ”
-Donna Gaines,author of A Misfit’s Manifesto: The Sociological Memoir of a Rock & Roll Heart



"Moore successfully positions the culture of white working-class and middle-class youths alongside that of working-class African Americans within the political economy of deindustrialization."-Eileen Luhr,Southern California Quarterly

About the Author

Ryan Moore is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Florida Atlantic University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814757480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814757482
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lrockcaligirl on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ryan Moore has written a book which both analyzes and contextualizes the current situation of youth subculture. Being a huge fan of punk rock I enjoyed this book because it recognizes the impact that this and other genres have on a individual during their formative years. This book also takes a critical look at capitalism and the effects of pop culture as an industry on society. This book is successful putting what the average American youth is confronted with and explains where the roots of certain subculture lies lie. This is the story of my youth explained to me intelligently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By randalman on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ryan Moore's excellent book covers a wide range of "youth culture and crisis" in the US, and does so with aplomb. Like a good sociologist, he demonstrates in clear prose the connection between the economic crises and the manifestations of those crises in the domains of music culture. Like a good fan, he communicates the thrill of what music can mean to American adolescents.

As he notes in the first chapter, "rock music and the hippie counterculture were shaped by a rebellion against the qualitative consequences of Fordism and embedded liberalism, and ... punk was the signal that these movements were exhausted and co-opted in the new social context of the 1970s." It's a mouthful, for sure, but he provides enough structure for the undergraduate or lay reader to make sense of a nuanced argument, and engages a rich variety of sources to hold the interest of cultural scholars, too.

The usual suspects -- The Ramones, Lester Bangs -- make appearances, but South Park's Mr. Hanky Poo (perhaps the punkest character on South Park) and Black Flag's Chuck Dubowski are given their due, too. The text is a fine example of cultural materialism, includes a smart and sensitive ethnography of the San Diego "scene" of the mid-late 1990s, and offers a smart, smart survey of the alternative scene and its re-presentation and integration by the culture industry.

For the scholarly types: Adorno and Benjamin make their obligatory appearances at the end, and Moore breathes new life into that long-standing argument.

A must-have if you were there, and a must-have for anyone who wants to understand (the use value and exchange value of) Teen Spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cteague on May 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent approach to applying sociological research of key geographic regions and how it has impacted the genres of Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, and Alternative music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg Hansen on February 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Moore provides an interesting thesis on alternative music. A fascinating read and some good memories for this PNW 40 something.
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