The “sonic sociologist”

It can often to be interesting to see how people describe sociology in the non-academic realm. How about a “sonic sociologist“?

DJ Ms Thang is a relative “novelty’’ (her word) in the nightlife business: a sought-after female DJ who can get a room pumping whether she’s spinning for 20-something club kids or a ballroom full of gala-goers. Those skills, as well as her runway-model good looks (she’s sometimes been booked on those alone, she acknowledges), make it clear that “I can hold my own with the boys,’’ she added slyly.

To those who groove or merely toe-tap to the selected beats she puts out, the allure is in her perceptive crowd-reading, and her soulful style, a melange of genres…

“You’re like a sociologist,’’ she said, in her case, one in stilettos, jeans, and lace fingerless gloves. On a Tuesday night at Minibar, the sonic sociologist spins some mellow tracks for a reserved sampling of clubgoers. She starts with the Revenge Rework of Marvin Gaye’s “Heavy Love Affair.’’

It would be interesting to read a study as to how DJs develop these people-watching and perception skills. Similar to some other culture industry insiders, would DJs describe their abilities as “intuition” or “innate abilities”? If so, I suspect a sociologist might find that DJs acquire and develop these skills as they get more opportunities and hone their craft.

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