Michael Ramirez

Destined for Greatness

Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town

Rutgers University Press 2018

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in AnthropologyNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books in Sociology May 18, 2018 Michael O. Johnston

The pursuit of a musical career crosses the mind of most children. But, for most, a vocation is nothing more than a farfetched fantasy...

The pursuit of a musical career crosses the mind of most children. But, for most, a vocation is nothing more than a farfetched fantasy that will never come true. Music is often considered more appropriate as a leisure activity that need be abandoned when a person enters adulthood. How are men and women to forge a career as a musician when it is largely considered taboo to pursue such a position as a lifetime career?

In Destined for Greatness: Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town (Rutgers University Press, 2018), sociologist Dr. Michael Ramirez examines the lives of 48 independent rock musicians who sought out a music career in a college town that is renowned for its music scene. Ramirez used a life-course approach to understand the wealth of experience that led to some, but not all, individuals to fashion careers in the music industry. Ramirez recommends a nuanced understanding of factors—focusing on the intersections—that enable some people to pursue musical careers well into their adulthood.

Michael Ramirez, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies Program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. He teaches courses and conducts research in the areas of gender, work, aging and the life course, film, as well as courses in Women and Gender Studies. Ramirez is currently working on a study about fatherhood in twenty-first century America.


Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. You can read more about Johnston’s work here.

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