Rethinking Difference in Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music

Rethinking Difference in Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music : Theory and Politics of Ambiguity

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In studies of gender and sexuality in popular music, the concept of difference is often a crucial analytic used to detect social agency; however, the alternative analytic of ambiguity has never been systematically examined. While differenceã from heterosexual norms is taken to be the multivalent sign of resistance, oppression, and self-invention, it can lead to inflated claims of the degree and power of difference. This book offers critically-oriented case studies that examine the theory and politics of ambiguity. Ambiguity means that there are both positive and negative implications in any gender and sexuality practices, both sameness and difference from heteronormativity, and unfixed possibility in the diverse nature of discourse and practice (rather than just "difference" among fixed multiplicities). Covering popular music from around the globe, contributors present a diverse array of approaches through music, sound, psyche, body, dance, performance, race, ethnicity, power, discourse, and history. A wide variety of popular music genres are broached, including gay circuit remixes, punk rock, Goth music, cross-dress performance, billboard 100 songs, global pop, and nineteenth century minstrelsy. The authors examine the ambiguities of performance and reception, and address the vexed question of whether it is possible for genuinely new forms of gender and sexuality to emerge musically. This book makes a distinctive contribution to studies of gender and sexuality in popular music, and will be of interest to fields including Popular Music Studies, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Cultural Studies, Queer Studies, Sound Studies, and Media more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 159 x 235mm
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 Line drawings, black and white; 9 Halftones, black and white; 11 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138960055
  • 9781138960053

About Gavin S. K. Lee

Gavin Lee is Assistant Professor at Soochow University School of Music in China. He completed his doctoral research at Duke University on global avant-garde music in Singapore. Lee's research is published in Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and in a book funded by the Singapore National Arts Council, Scions of the Musical more

Table of contents

Introduction: Ambiguity Theory Gavin Lee 1. There Is No Sexual Relation Between Gay Men and Female Divas Gavin Lee 2. Voices of Intimacy in the Fundamentalist Christian Church Sarah Bereza 3. When Music Cries: Rethinking Difference in Gender and Music Matthew Bannister 4. Ambiguities of S/M and Goth Music Culture Carol Siegel 5. When the Bearded Lady Sings: Ambiguity Aesthetics, Queer Identity, and the Gendering of the Presentational Voice Mario Rey 6. Detournement and Female Punk Bands Helen L. Reddington 7. "Queer" in a Historical Context Gillian Rodger 8. Afterword: The World Only Spins Forward Paul Attinelloshow more