Gendering Music Matter (GEMMA)

Gendering Music Matter (GEMMA) examines the mechanisms that promote or hinder equal participation for professionals working with music production within the Danish popular music industry.  It looks at a gendered inequality that has recently (post-metoo) gained heavy political and public awareness.

While musicological research in gender and the music industry has gained international attention within the past 10 years very little research has been undertaken in this area within a Danish context. GEMMA offers a corrective to this gap within Danish musicological research, and contributes to the international body of scholarly research with interdisciplinary and ethnographic modes of thinking. 

The aim is to contribute to an understanding of the complexity of gender inequality within the popular music industry and to current debates about gender and intersectionality within musicology. Furthermore, Gemma seeks to develop new theoretical and analytical tools that intersect popular music studies and musical anthropology with feminist (post)phenomenology, affect studies, and an anthropology of infrastructure.


How does the infrastructure of the popular music industry come to orient or position bodies in different ways? In which ways do professionals who identify as women perceive, experience and navigate infrastructural nodes, objects, processes and cultural discourse when pursuing a career within the Danish music industry?



This work package focuses on affective dissonance, solidarity and safer spaces, and focuses on networks and communities, with particular attention to how strategic essentialism (Spivak 1996 [1985]) is exerted to create alternative (safer) spaces for professional networking, knowledge sharing, promotion and learning processes. Such networks that are actively committed to facilitate (other) opportunities for their members and to reflect on gendered infrastructure, will make an entry point for accessing, identifying and selecting interlocutors of interest for the themes of WP2 and WP3. The ethnographic analytical attention in this WP1 is directed towards how these networks challenge the gendered infrastructural norms – and how they take part in the processes of restructuring the informational, organizational and social levels of the popular music industry in a broader sense.



This work package focuses on women's bodies and how they experience being oriented to and disoriented by the gendered infrastructure of the popular music industry. The WP focuses on how the conceptualization of women's bodies (including menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause etc.) as social and cultural phenomena affect opportunities and preferences of movement, working routines, networks, conditions, and career paths. But also, towards the ways women within the industry experience and negotiate intersectional objectification of the body, as related to questions of branding, stereotypification, marketability and patterns of representation. In doing so, the aim is also to examine how women identified professionals negotiate ideas of ‘femininity’ as they navigate power structures enacted through gendered expectations and intersectional hierarchies. The primary empirical material will consist of ethnographic field material and interviews with carefully selected interlocutors.



A gender touch on ‘things’, expands human-centered conceptions of culture production by exploring the potential of understanding artefacts, instruments and other sound(ing) tools as ‘things’ that co-constitute social, cultural, and affective networks of music production. Inspired by Jane Bennet (2010), the WP focuses on the ‘thing-side’ of affect, by asking: How are instruments such as the electric guitar or a baritone saxophone entangled in socialities related to gendering? And what are the mechanisms and the consequences of gendering processes around ‘things’? The primary empirical material will consist of ethnographic field material and interviews with carefully selected interlocutors.



Name Title Phone E-mail
Ringsager, Kristine Associate Professor   E-mail