Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Lynn Preston in cooperation with the author Graphic design: Jenny Berggrund Printed by: The empirical material consists of recorded round-table discussions "Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal" staff and participants from four different initiatives in Sweden, all with the explicit aim to increase the number of girls and women involved in popular music production and performance.
A Foucault-inspired discourse analysis method in six stages was used to examine the data in terms of discursive constructions, discourses, action orientation, positionings, prac- tice, and subjectivity. The results are organized in four themes — Sound, Body, Territory, and Room — and are discussed in relation to the concepts of performativity Judith Butlerfeminine body spatiality Iris Marion Youngand gaze Michel Foucault and others.
The first dialectic is formed by space-claiming understood as on the one hand extrovert self-promotion to be seen and heard, and on the other hand, as introvert focus on the musical craft. A second dialectic is formed by an ongoing struggle between empowerment and objectification, i. Gender, Popular Music, and Claiming Space: It has been a time-consuming, difficult, fascinating, and extremely instructive process.
The project has been professional,
Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal a personal one as well, helping me to better understand my own life.
Special thanks go to the following: Yes — your mom has finished that book now! The Drummer who got Stuck in the Practice Room Around the time I turned fifteen, I had a strong sense that it was time for some- thing new. I had taken piano lessons for nine years, sang in the choir, achieved good grades at school and overall performed well. At this stage, I wanted to do something unexpected, to surprise people around me and maybe myself as well.
I declared to my Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal that I wanted to play the drums, borrowed an old drum set from a family friend, and dragged it to my room.
I had always enjoyed rhythmical music, and on my piano I played pop, gospel music and jazz, from sheet music and by ear. Earlier, when I was around twelve, I had tried to form a band with a girlfriend. We sang, played the piano and the acoustic guitar, rehearsed, and made posters for gigs that were never realized. But this time, I was ready.
I started taking afternoon percussion lessons at the local municipal music school. But how was I supposed to find someone
Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal form a group with? At the music school, I was the only girl taking percussion. Those of my friends who took an interest in music sang in the choir, but I wanted to play in a band, with electric guitar and bass, microphones, and amps. Where was I supposed to start looking?
I had no idea, and so I focused on learning as much as possible, practiced drum patterns and styles, double-punches on the bass drum and jazz brush techniques on the snare drum. After high school, I was accepted to a one- year music program at a Folk High School,1 with piano as first instrument and percussion as second.
Soon, I became aware of the distinct roles associated with jazz, pop, and rock — the girls were vocalists, while the guys played instruments and already had years of experience of playing in bands. I was disappointed, already behind on my road to band-playing, and decided again to practice more, doing the samba, reggae, jazz waltz.
In the youth orchestra, I played percus- sion; in the practice room, I played the drums. By then I was starting to think I played the drums fairly well — but did I play well enough?
My male friends had by now gathered even more experience of playing in groups, and I still had none. To market myself among them as a drummer seemed out of the question.
I decided to try to gather some female friends and start a band. Two or three such attempts came to nothing, perhaps because we had no clear aim with our activity, perhaps
Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal our priorities lay elsewhere, or maybe just because we did not know how to play in a band.
Well, Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal, we knew how to Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal our instruments, but other aspects of band culture — routines for rehearsing, sound technology, decision-making procedures — was knowledge seemingly hidden, difficult to access.
After graduating, first in my work as a music teacher and later as a doc- toral student, I have wondered how to understand my musical development, the routes I took or did not take and the places I went or did not go. What factors should have been different for me to actually start playing in a band? There was neither lack of motivation, nor of equipment, nor of instruction on how to play the instrument.
Was it a matter of not being bold enough? I never regarded myself as lacking courage or self-confidence generally, but for some reason I felt a bit lost when it came to drumming. Alongside with this, outside academia, I was for a number of years involved in a labor market project to develop courses for women to enter the field of technology. It appeared to me that my texts lived a life of their own, apart from my intentions of raising awareness of the implications of gendered socialization.
The texts seemed to do something else also: I suspected that by throwing light on gender issues, they also reinforced ideas about gender. The outspoken aim of working against gender bias in technology was troubled by the attention the participants got by being selected
Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal women for the project.
Because of these paradoxes, for a period of time, I perceived the field of gender and education to be a slippery business, and considered leaving it to be explored by others. About seven years ago, however, my encounter with social constructionist theory, and later with poststructural thinking, served as turning points.
My ongoing enterprise — to better understand how difficulties and paradoxes of gender-equity work in music might be perceived — is driven by an emancipatory desire for musical practices more just, but equally by an ambition to critically reflect on how my own use of words opens up certain ways of thinking and forecloses others. Rationale The narrative above forms the story I see as the background to my interest to probe further into questions about popular music and gender.
A further development of my background would situate me as white, heterosexual, and middle-class, with a background in The Mission Covenant Church of Sweden — the latter providing me with countless opportunities for music making Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal performance of both popular music and art music, not the least through choirs.
These factors, together with many others, have shaped my experiences of learning music and the interest I take in these issues. My accounting for the story above is made in a tradition among postmodern and feminist authors to challenge the idea of a neutral researcher. During the last few decades, feminist theories have inspired, and intersected with, critiques of various other hegemonies in society. Although gender is the focus of the present study, I am aware that popular music practices are also shaped by markers of difference such as class and ethnicity.
My reason for choosing to study gender and popular music is double. First, from the perspective of formal education, the inclusion of popular music in schools calls for music education research to further investigate the possibilities and limitations popular music offers in terms of gender.
Gender appears as most significant for issues of performance, bodily display, competence, and authen- ticity, and as research has demonstrated, popular music in the classroom does not escape gender delineations Abramo, ; Bergman, ; Green, Second, as there are many settings for learning popular music, the questions posed in the present study are relevant for contexts outside formal schooling.
Gender structures in the music industry are at present subjected to vigorous public debate in Sweden, including issues sexism and gender quotas. If mu- sic education research is defined to include all kinds of contexts for learning music, it does not need to be underpinned by a focus on formal schooling, but becomes legitimate by focusing on conditions for learning.
Issues of gender and popular music have previously "Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal" been explored by researchers in sociology, culture studies, media studies, and popular music studies. Gender issues in popular music can be examined from two perspectives, which in effect are interdependent. First, there are quantitative matters of sexual representation. From this perspective, some genres have been pointed out as particularly over- represented by males, but an overwhelming structural differentiation between men and women seems to be prevalent in a broad spectrum of popular music practices, where women are in a definite minority in all positions of the popular music field, except for that of vocalist.
Second, there are qualitative matters of gendered signification. From my understanding, popular music appears to be broadly aligned with two traits associated with masculinity: These two traits are combined and played out in different ways within different contexts and genres. Aggressive physical and sonic performance is perhaps most strongly played out in various subgenres of rock.
I arranged round-table discussions with staff and participants from four different initiatives in Sweden. My broad initial aim was to examine conversations about gender and popular music in order to explore how the challenges of changing female under-representation in popular music practice can be understood. Early in the analysis of these discussions, I found a frequent use of spatial metaphors such as space, place, position, room, territory, area, and domain.
The focus of the present study — spatial language — is thereby partly formed by the empirical data. The expression also appears as closely associated with self-expression, creativity, empowerment, and resistance to oppressive feminine ideals. A quick browsing of the top one hundred hits revealed that they often led to sites for, or media reports on, courses and summer camps for girls, for example to learn self-defense, graffiti, skateboarding, drama, rock, hip hop, and samba percussion.
From this, it seems reasonable to assume that a linkage between the concept of claiming space and popular music is not limited to the present study only. Purpose Statement The rationale, as explained above, forms the basis for the following purpose of the present study, which is to Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal how spatial discourse is used in the context of gender-equity music initiatives to construct ideas about gender, popular music, and social change.
It is rather placed on a meta-level, exploring conceptualizations of musical practice and gendered participation therein, constructed through spatial tropes. The study object is discourse, not individuals — this distinction must be emphasized. As a consequence, my interest lies not in correlating statements to the demographical background of each speaker, but rather in connecting to the larger patterns of speaking and thinking that circulate in the cultural context where these statements are produced.
The term postmodern appears a number of times in my text. As I use it, the term refers to a broader societal movement, challenging modernist no- tions of truth, justice, origin, and authenticity. It is associated with a number of material and historical shifts: These shifts have resulted in a crisis in representation, where there is no certainty in one single or objective version of what social reality is. This has led to a crisis of scientific knowledge, as well.
As a consequence, I use concepts such as postmodern perspectives, thinking, and discourse, whereas I avoid the concept of postmo- dernity, designating a postmodern age Kvale, Finally, I want to draw attention to the fact that postmodern ist discourse can go in quite different directions, depending on whether it is conflated with neoliberalist discourse, as discussed in 3, or with poststructuralist discourse, as in the framework deployed here.
Structure of the Thesis The present study is presented as a compilation dissertation in two parts.
Part I forms an overarching text covering the introduction above, theory and method, a description of Swedish gender-equity policies and spaces for learning music, short article summaries, and a discussion. Part II contains five articles. From now on, I refer to the articles in the ongoing text as follows: In terms of publication, article 1 is accepted for publication pending revisions, Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal article 2 has been published.
Articles 3—5 are texts in progress to be submitted for publication in the future. Thereafter, four appen- dices are included. Appendix 1 is the form of consent given to and signed by all respondents. Appendix 2 contains the Swedish original versions of the quotes from the data, presented in English in the articles.
Friskt vagat rackte inte till semifinal 3 contains a closer presentation of two of the recorded discussions and longer excerpts from these, serving as contextualizing examples.
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