Destined for Greatness (Michael Ramirez)

Ramirez, M. (2018). Destined for Greatness: Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town. Rutgers University Press.


Pursuing the dream of a musical vocation—particularly in rock music—is typically regarded as an adolescent pipedream. Music is marked as an appropriate leisure activity, but one that should be discarded upon entering adulthood. How then do many men and women aspire to forge careers in music upon entering adulthood? 

In Destined for Greatness, sociologist Michael Ramirez examines the lives of forty-eight independent rock musicians who seek out such non-normative choices in a college town renowned for its music scene. He explores the rich life course trajectories of women and men to explore the extent to which pathways are structured to allow some, but not all, individuals to fashion careers in music worlds. Ramirez suggests a more nuanced understanding of factors that enable the pursuit of musical livelihoods well into adulthood.

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