Protest music as adult education and learning for social change: a theorisation of a public pedagogy of protest music

Author: John Haycock, Monash University

Edition: Volume 55, Number 3, November 2015

Summary:  Since the 1960’s, the transformative power of protest music has been shrouded in mythology. Sown by musical activists like Pete Seeger, who declared that protest music could “help to save the planet”, the seeds of this myth have since taken deep root in the popular imagination. While the mythology surrounding the relationship between protest music and social change has become pervasive and persistent, it has mostly evaded critical interrogation and significant theorisation. By both using the notion as a theoretical lens and adding to scholarship in the field, this article uncovers understandings of the public pedagogical dimensions of protest music, as it takes place as a radical practice and critical form of contemporary mass culture. In doing this, this article provides a theorisation of public pedagogy as it encapsulates protest music, and those who are conceptualised as the critical and radical public pedagogues who produce this mass cultural form.

Keywords: public pedagogy, protest music, adult learning, education for social change

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 55_3. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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