Female agents on Experienced Otherness in the Music industry

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Frida Hedevang Malmø
4. term, Music, Master (Master Programme)
This study presents a method to examine the experience of otherness described by female agents from the music industry in Denmark. The term “oplevet andethed” (translation: Experienced otherness) describes the various ways representatives from the feminine gender experience being the “other”, a role caused by the historic reproduction of gender stereotype through behavior, norms and values. The aim of this study is to answer the following research question:
How do female agents describe the connection between identity and music, and how are these descriptions connected to the experiences of otherness in the music industry?
Through surveys distributed in two Facebook groups, the participants describe their perception of the importance of music, and of their experiences of otherness in the music industry in Denmark. 31 participants with an average age of 31,9 years are involved in the study, where 97 % are female and 3 % non-binary gender. 81 % of the participants describe music as a necessity and essential part of their lives, despite of 84 % report experiences of otherness in the music industry.
6 groups identified in the participants descriptions represent the various expressions of experienced otherness. 1) Objectification (identified in 45 % of the descriptions) are experiences of judgement of the female agents’ appearance rather than her music, of sexual harassment in work relations, humoristic comments with sexual connotations and unwanted advice from male colleges on how to increase sexual attraction by altering the female agents’ physical appearance. 2) Doubt in abilities (identified in 59 % of descriptions) are expressions of microinsults, where subconscious behavior or language stresses doubt in the female agents’ abilities by not recognizing of her work, abilities or position. 3) Discrimination (identified in 62 % of descriptions) expresses a lack of access to opportunities, exclusion from social/work communities due to an experience of not fitting in or talking the right language. 4) Wrong gender behavior (identified in 59 % of descriptions), is a punishment of deviant gender behavior called microassult which is conscious behavior that accuses the gender of being female agents’ shortcut to success. 5) Time (identified in 31 % of descriptions) mentions time or the accumulation of experiences over time. 6) Invalidations (identified in 21 % of descriptions) is experiences of Microinvalidations where surroundings invalidate the experiences of otherness by claiming them to be singular events. The 6 groups are represented in a diagram (p. 61) which offers the possibility of comparing and identifying the specific behavior of experienced otherness and its frequency in the music industry.
Furthermore, the most supported suggestions to increase diversity in the music industry proposed by the participants, are a change of gender roles in music education and creation of awareness of gender bias in the society and music industry.
The majority of the participants are members of MB19, which acts as safe space for minorities in the music industry, and for this reason generalization of the results of this study should been executed with carefulness.
SpecialisationPopular Music and Sound Production
Publication date2 Jun 2020
Number of pages76
ID: 333418694