This Critical Process exercise explores the role of rock and roll in American society.
Pre-Exercise Questions: What are some of the images that come to mind when you think of rock and roll? What might the United States be like without rock and roll?
Description. List five to ten ways in which rock and roll has had a positive impact on American society since the 1950s. In a second column, list five to ten ways in which rock and roll has had a negative impact on American society.
Analysis. What sorts of patterns emerge from these lists? Are some of the positives and negatives related to the same themes or issues?
Interpretation. Can negative influences be reinterpreted as positive, or vice versa, depending on one’s cultural/political perspective? How would another generation interpret these influences?
Evaluation. Do you think that rock has been more of a negative or positive force in American culture? If you reconsider both lists, are there some significant elements of rock and roll that you might have overlooked? How do you think people will interpret rock in another twenty years?
Engagement. Bring samples of music they think are socially positive or negative, and play them for the class. In the online class, list the samples here and include hyperlinks. Enjoy and discuss.