From snuggling and snogging to sampling and scratching: Girls’ nonparticipation in community-based music activities
This article focuses on gendered youth music practices in community-based organizations (CBOs) in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Drawing on interviews and observational fieldwork from the Playing for Life research project, the authors highlight the absence of young women from many activities, especially in the area of hip hop (e.g., MCing, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti workshops). Attempts by CBOs to redress gender imbalances are observed, and evaluations are made of how successful these projects appear to be for female participants. Our subsequent findings question the reasoning and outcomes of projects that promote women-only sessions or specifically employ female facilitators to activate young women's interests in musical activities. The research shows multiple factors affect girls' involvement in such activities and that gender-specific projects can have positive (e.g., improving confidence, skills, and performance ability) and negative (e.g. lack of skill sharing, isolation from other young artists) consequences on music skills development.
Youth & Society