The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Welcome to Dreamsville: A History and Geography of Northern Soul

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Joanne Hollows [+-]
Independent Scholar
Joanne Hollows is an independent researcher and writer. She has over twenty years’ experience teaching Media and Cultural Studies, most recently as Reader in Media and Cultural Studies at Nottingham Trent University. Her research spans a range of areas. Alongside work on popular music, Joanne has also published widely on feminism and popular culture; food and cultural studies; and domestic cultures. Her books include Feminism, Femininity and Popular Culture (Manchester University Press 2000), Food and Cultural Studies (with Bob Ashley, Steve Jones and Ben Taylor, Routledge 2004), Domestic Cultures (Open University Press 2008) and Media Studies: A Complete Introduction (Hodder, 2016). Joanne’s current research interests in music focus on the strange relationships between cycling and music cultures.
Katie Milestone [+-]
Manchester Metropolitan University
Katie Milestone is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Sociology at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Katie’s research interests are focussed on gender and popular culture, creative industries, place and identity and popular music. She began her research career at the Manchester Institute for Popular Culture where she undertook a PhD on music and place. She has a long-standing personal and academic interest in Northern Soul and has published work and organised research events on this music based community. Katie’s is currently completing a second edition of her jointly authored book on Gender and Popular Culture (Polity Press), and a Major Works Collection on the same subject for Routledge. Katie is also completing publications on dance music culture and gender, place and identity in the creative industries.


This chapter, first published in The Place of Music: (eds. Leyshon, Matless & Revill 1998, Guilford Press), addresses debates about place and identity, and the relationship between local musical scenes and global musical cultures. It explores four main concerns: the ‘northernness’ of northern soul; rarity, exclusivity, and commodity exchange; the relationships between contexts of production and consumption; and the importance of place and pilgrimage within the northern soul scene. This chapter aimed to highlight how the northern soul scene produces a sense of identify and belonging, and in doing so hoped to offer a different way of conceptualizing identity and the production of ‘community’ in musical cultures from that offered by subcultural theory. As one of the earliest academic considerations of the northern soul scene, this publication inspired subsequent studies which extended and critiqued this analysis.

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Hollows, Joanne; Milestone, Katie. Welcome to Dreamsville: A History and Geography of Northern Soul. The Northern Soul Scene. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 20-40 Feb 2019. ISBN 9781781795583. Date accessed: 21 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.31271. Feb 2019

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