Musical Participation By Boys: The Role of Gender in the Choice of Musical Activities By Males in Australian Schools
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This thesis seeks to examine the relationship between gender and musical participation by boys. The problem of males' non-participation in certain musical activities has been the subject of research for many years. This thesis considers some of the issues in relation to this phenomenon. The notion of gender is discussed. Historical and contemporary perspectives in stereotyping are investigated to determine the extent of the problem, with a view to enhancing the experience of boys in musical endeavours. There are no studies of this nature in existence in Australia and the existing research from other western cultures, while providing some basis, cannot be directly applied to this setting. Furthermore, existing studies have not brought about significant change in the gender order in music education. This project seeks to address these shortcomings. Masculinity in Australia is examined, with particular emphasis on the effects of hegemonic masculinity on those who do not fit this stereotype. Issues of bullying, depression and suicide are addressed. Empirical and sociological studies are re-examined in the light of more recent thought on the subject, particularly with regard to the possible causes of non-participation in singing and playing of certain instruments. The extent to which stereotyping of musical activities exists in Australian schools is reviewed through a series of studies of participation and literature. A number of subjects are interviewed to discover some of the reasons behind the choice of particular instruments. The thesis concludes with some perspectives arising from recent case studies of schools that have, to some extent, overcome some of the gender issues raised in earlier discussion. Constructs of masculinity and femininity effect musical participation in Australian schools and the extent of this effect is examined in this thesis.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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