Reading Rap Feminist Interventions in Men and Masculinity Research
Abstract: The present thesis explores how masculinity is constructed and negotiated in relation to race, class and sexuality in hip hop in Sweden. Theoretically, the study contributes to the increasing use of contemporary feminist theory in men and masculinity research. In so doing, it brings into dialogue poststructuralist feminism, feminist phenomenology, intersectionality and queer theory. These theoretical perspectives are put to use in a discourse analysis of rap lyrics by 38 rap artists in Sweden from the period 1991-2011. The thesis is based on the following four articles:Sticky masculinity: Post-structuralism, phenomenology and subjectivity in critical studies on men explores how poststructuralist feminism and feminist phenomenology can advance the understanding of subjectivity within men and masculinity research. Drawing on Sara Ahmed, and offering re-readings of John Stoltenberg and Victor Seidler, the article develops the notion of “sticky masculinity”.Degrees of intersectionality: Male rap artists in Sweden negotiating class, race and gender analyzes how class, race, gender, and to some extent sexuality, intersect in rap lyrics by male artists. It shows how critiques of class and race inequalities in these lyrics intersect with normative notions of gender and sexuality. Drawing on this empirical analysis, the article suggests that the notion of “degrees of intersectionality” can be helpful in thinking about masculinity from an intersectional perspective.‘No homo’: Straight inoculations and the queering of masculinity in Swedish hip hop explores the boundary work performed by male artists regarding sexuality categories. In particular, it analyzes how heterosexuality is sustained, given the affection expressed among male peers. To this end, the article develops the notion of “straight inoculations” to account for the rhetorical means by which heterosexual identities are sustained in a contested terrain.Hip hop feminism in Sweden: Intersectionality, feminist critique and female masculinity investigates lyrics by female artists in the male-dominated hip hop genre. The analysis shows how critique of gender inequality is a central theme in these lyrics, ranging from the hip hop scene to politics and men’s violence against women. The article also analyzes how female rappers both critique and perform masculinity.
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