The Strange Music of Social Life presents a dialogue on dialogic sociology, explored through the medium of music. Sociologist and composer Michael Mayerfeld Bell presents an argument that both sociology and classical music remain largely in the grip of a nineteenth-century totalizing ambition of prediction and control. He provides the refreshing approach of "strangency" to explain a sociology that tries to understand not only the regularities of social life but also the social conditions in which people do what we do not expect.
Nine important sociologists and musicians respond-often vigorously-to the conversation Bell initiates by raising pivotal questions. The Strange Music of Social Life concludes with Bell's reply to those responses and offers new insight into sociology and music sociology.