Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Dennis Kinsey


Coping, Disaster, Music, Popular Culture, Uses and Gratifications

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This single-case study explores the use of popular music in response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005. Using research in sociology of disaster and uses and gratifications theory in mass communication, data collected included original music written in response to the hurricane, major benefit concerts that aired in the wake, and re-appropriated music that developed new meaning when used in conjunction to the case. Analysis yielded that popular music was used to raise awareness, raise funds, and express emotion following the disaster. Common themes throughout include the impact of genre on how this was accomplished and the messages it yielded, the power of collective effervescence, and the importance of space and place when dealing with tragedy through music.


Open Access