Trans-Actions in Music

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


While efforts to grapple with questions about the nature of music-listener relations have seen some welcome developments since the turn of the millennium—especially, in music sociology, through DeNora’s work on everyday consumption and Hennion’s analyses of taste—even in the most interactionist
and pragmatist of these accounts, there remain enduring traces of a certain substantialism in respect of both ‘the music’ and its ‘listeners’. In setting Dewey and Bentley’s trans-actional approach, along with further elements of Dewey’s intellectual edifice (specifically his concepts of ‘inquiry’, ‘habit’ and ‘imagination’), into dialogue with current debates in music sociology, this chapter considers the potential value of thinking in terms of ‘musical trans-action’. As will be seen, although such an approach may be seen to diminish the
grounds for proposing regularities, patterns or generalizations on the part of scholars and analysts, the more modest and realistic approach encouraged by thinking in terms of trans-action nonetheless offers a pathway beyond some of the limitations inscribed in residually substantialist inter-actional approaches,
encouraging the transcendence of some established orthodoxies and opening the field out onto new sets of concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJohn Dewey and the Notion of Trans-action
Subtitle of host publicationA Sociological Reply on Rethinking Relations and Social Processes
EditorsChristian Morgner
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-26380-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26379-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Relational Sociology


  • music
  • listening
  • trans-action
  • sociology
  • relational

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