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The music of boys, the silence of reproduction

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Eva Georgii-Hemming

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Male dominance and gender segregation (concerning musical instruments) permeates the field of popular music. Understanding why these patterns are reproduced, is a starting point for this study. Making popular music seems to be more attainable for boys/men than girls/women, and in addition there exists a division of labour between boys/men who play instruments and girls/women who sing. The question, thus, is why this continues to happen.  

The study focuses, however, on boys and what it is in their life, that reinforces the reproduction of the abovementioned empircal patterns. Therefore, the overall aim is to identify the mechanisms, both social, cultural and psychological, that condition boys' approach to popular music (making).

The eight participating boys are aged between 11 and 13, and have been interviewed three times each. The interviews are so-called qualitative, which means they resemble a dialogical ”everyday conversation”, but is influenced by the researchers scientific questions and aspirations, as well as a more formal structure.

A project like the present requires a theory of causality in social life, why critical realism serves as a meta-theoretical foundation. Central theorists in the thesis, is Margaret Archer, Douglas Porpora and Anna Jónasdóttir. Causal analysis is, however, absent in the bulk of the previous research. The project therefore has another overall aim, namely to apply critical realism in music research with a gender perspective.

PhD-student: Victor Kvarnhall