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October 2021

When women play the bass - Instrument specialization and gender interpretation in alternative rock music

Journal/Book: Gender Soc. 1999; 13: 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. Sage Publications Inc. 193-210.

Abstract: Drawing on interviews with women and men musicians, this study examines women's overrepresentation in an instrumental specialty, the electric bass, in alternative rock music. Structurally, this phenomenon may be explained by the instrument's greater ease of learning and lesser attractiveness to men, yet women bassists frequently advance an alternative theory of ''womanly'' affinity. The entrance of women into rock bands via the bass may provide them with new opportunities and help legitimate their presence in a male-dominated site of artistic production, yet ii may simultaneously work to reconstruct a gendered division of labor and reproduce dominant gender ideologies.

Note: Article Clawson MA, Wesleyan Univ, Dept Sociol, Middletown,CT 06459 USA

Keyword(s): WORK


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