Resistance or Reiteration? Rethinking Gender in DJ Cultures

Gadir, T 2016, 'Resistance or Reiteration? Rethinking Gender in DJ Cultures', Contemporary Music Review, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 115-129.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Resistance or Reiteration? Rethinking Gender in DJ Cultures
Author(s) Gadir, T
Year 2016
Journal name Contemporary Music Review
Volume number 35
Issue number 1
Start page 115
End page 129
Total pages 15
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Many practices of contemporary DJ-driven electronic dance music derive from 1970s club scenes in the United States, which were welcoming spaces for people who otherwise encountered prejudice for their gender identities and sexual orientations. Through their prominence in dance music literature, these scenes, along with British rave culture, have come to represent a broader conception of a global 'alternative dance music culture' that incorporates various communitarian ideologies-including non-discriminatory and non-patriarchal gender relations. In this paper I offer a critique of such celebratory interpretations. First, I suggest that these scenes, often framed as formative of dance music cultures worldwide, are exceptional rather than typical, and that their politics have been projected onto other scenes. Second, I highlight how troubling gender discrimination is present even in 'alternative' settings where participants are more conscious of political and social issues, including gender. I illustrate these points through interviews in a number of countries with women DJs who describe numerous instances of gender-related prejudice, and through interviews with men, who articulate some of these prejudices. The interviews reveal a series of dimensions of the gendering of DJ-oriented dance cultures, and how they are suffused with problematic attitudes towards gender. My research therefore challenges the celebratory interpretations of many DJ music scenes.
Subject Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Consumption and Everyday Life
Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Keyword(s) Dancing
DOI - identifier 10.1080/07494467.2016.1176767
Copyright notice © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN 0749-4467
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