Pursuing the dream of a musical vocation—particularly in rock music—is typically regarded as an adolescent pipedream. Music is marked as an appropriate leisure activity, but one that should be discarded upon entering adulthood. How then do many men and women aspire to forge careers in music upon entering adulthood?
In Destined for Greatness, sociologist Michael Ramirez examines the lives of forty-eight independent rock musicians who seek out such non-normative choices in a college town renowned for its music scene. He explores the rich life course trajectories of women and men to explore the extent to which pathways are structured to allow some, but not all, individuals to fashion careers in music worlds. Ramirez suggests a more nuanced understanding of factors that enable the pursuit of musical livelihoods well into adulthood.
Rutgers University Press; April 2018
- ISBN: 9780813588148
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Destined for Greatness
- Author: Michael Ramirez
Imprint: Rutgers University Press
In The Press
"A fascinating reminder of music's profound impact across the life course, Destined for Greatness offers a backstage look at how musicians pursue, abandon, or creatively accommodate their rock and roll dreams with the realities of growing up."
— Ross Haenfler, author of Straight Edge
"Michael Ramirez tells a fascinating story of emerging adulthood, developing an identity as a professional musician, and confronting the challenges of sustaining a career in the indie college music scene."
— William T. Bielby, professor of sociology, University of Illinois Chicago
— Chronicle of Higher Education
— Campaign for the American Reader
"This is an excellent addition to an evolving area of scholarship."
"Through his meticulous study of 48 indie-rock musicians aspiring musical success, Ramirez sketches a captivating picture of the motivations, considerations, and concerns of these musicians and their endeavors to make music their vocation."
— Work and Occupations
"A very timely and important book. It should appeal to a wide variety of sociologists with divergent research interests."
— American Journal of Sociology
About The Author
MICHAEL RAMIREZ is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.