Gender and Labour in the Music Industry : An exploration into why the music industry has a gender problem and what can be done to change it
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While numbers are missing, it has become clear over the past decade that the music industry is a place of far-reaching gender imbalance in the form of gender segregation. This paper aims to look at why this is the case, basing its line of argumentation on a close understanding of the mechanisms and structures that lead to the disparity of gender representation in the music industry. It aims at contradicting myths about working in the music industry that, instead of being "cool, creative and egalitarian" (Gill, 2002), proves to be an insecure, exclusive and heavily biased place of work based on informality and exploitation, both in the Marxian sense and in the form of self-exploitation. The paper concludes with ﬁnding deep structural issues in the music industry at the root of its gender issues and the need for both societal and individual action and change to affect a shift in the gender imbalance in the industry. Based on in-depth interviews with informants from the music industry, the paper then moves on to discussing possible methods of affecting change, onsidering both policy-imposed solutions like gender quotas as well as strenghtened labour politics and unionisation, and measures instituted from within the industry such as the active and public raising of awareness combined with a conscious use of language, the furthering of role models and the formalisation of the recruitment process.
Master's thesis in music management MU501 - University of Agder 2016