Since the mid-1990s, the distinctiveness of a sociological approach to music has become increasingly apparent. This chapter notes that the primary focus of this specifically sociological ‘gaze’ is a concern with examining the various ways in which music is used in a whole range of social situations, and the consequences of this. Sociologists have, with increasing confidence, investigated the use of music by real people in real situations, thus moving away from a concern with revealing the meaning of musical texts. A sociological concern with the uses of music seeks to return such cultural objects to the social contexts in which they are produced and experienced.
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