The 2013-2014 first year summer reading is Understanding Society through Popular Music by Joe Kotarba, Bryce Merrill, J Patrick Williams, and Phillip Vannini. Understanding Society through Popular Music uses popular music to illustrate fundamental sociological principles. In neatly organized chapters, the authors discuss popular music from a variety of genres and the relationships between music and family, self, politics, technology, religion, and social status. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own relationship to music and how it shapes, defines, or results from their private, familial or social interactions.
Students are introduced to the book during Summer Orientation. Students are expected to read the book, and review the reading guide and suggested videos before they arrive in August. There will be a discussion of the book and essay assignment given on Sunday, August 25th during Fall Orientation.