Sonic Feminisms: Doing Gender in Neoliberal Times

Thompson, Marie (2020) Sonic Feminisms: Doing Gender in Neoliberal Times. In: Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies. Bloomsbury. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

In this chapter, I address the growing body of European and American activist projects seeking to encourage, advocate for, and celebrate women’s participation in sonic and musical cultures. Through various methods, strategies, and approaches, these projects have sought to reveal and reconfigure the gendered makeup of industries, practices, and genres. While some explicitly identify themselves as feminist, others have intentionally or strategically avoided the term, choosing instead to signal their ambitions via feminized terminology and aesthetics. Nonetheless, many recent projects centering sound, music, and gender can be understood in relation to certain strands of feminist thought and action, and contextualized in relation to broader discussions of feminisms in the plural.

A For the purposes of this chapter, I focus on two interrelated methodological components of what might be described as a “popular” sonic feminism: quantification and amplification. quantification and amplification also produce and reproduce particular conceptions of gender and gender inequality, inasmuch as they are necessarily approached as measurable. By situating quantification and amplification in relation to feminist critiques of neoliberal popular feminism (Hemmings 2018; Banet-Weiser 2018), I interrogate the ways in which gender and gender inequality are configured in some contemporary sonic feminisms as oppositional (i.e. male/female), singular (i.e. non-intersectional), and generalizable (i.e. held in common across geopolitical, cultural, and economic differences). In doing so, I also aim to demonstrate the ways in which feminist critique can function as method, as well as can being about method. This chapter utilizes critique as method insofar as it is a means of asking questions about relationships between gender, sonic cultures, social life, and knowledge production. It does so by offering a feminist critique of ‘popular’ sonic feminist methods, arguing for the need to remain attentive to the conceptions of gender that popular sonic feminist methods – and sonic methods more generally – reflect, reproduce, and naturalize.

Keywords:feminism, sound studies, neoliberalism, gender, music
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:36809
Deposited On:02 Sep 2019 08:02

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