Women and Popular Music: Sexuality, Identity, and Subjectivity

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Psychology Press, 2000 - Music - 246 pages
Women and Popular Music explores the changing role of women musicians and the ways in which their songs resonate in popular culture. Sheila Whiteley begins by examining the counter-culture's reactionary attitudes to women through the lyrics of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. She explores the ways in which artists like Joplin and Joni Mitchell confronted issues of sexuality and freedom, redefining women's participation in the industry, and assesses the personal cost of their achievements. She considers how stars such as Annie Lennox, Madonna and k.d. lang have confronted issues of gender stereotyping and sexuality, through pop videos for 'Justify My Love' and 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)', and looks at the enduring importance of the singer-songwriter through artists such as Tracey Chapman. Lastly, she assesses the contribution of contemporary artists including Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey and Courtney Love, and asks whether the Spice Girls are just a 'cartoon feminist pop group' or if they provide positive role models for teenage girls.

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Wonderful world beautiful people The 1960s counter culture and its ideological relationship to women
Repressive representations Patriarchy femininities and 1960s rock
The personal is political Womens liberation sexuality gender freedom and repression
Try just a little bit harder Janis Joplin and the search for personal identity
The times they are achangin Folk and the singer songwriter
The lonely road Joni Mitchell Blue and female subjectivity
Daughters of chaos Patti Smith Siouxsie Sioux and the feminisation of rock
Challenging the feminine Annie Lennox androgyneity and illusions of identity
Madonna eroticism autoeroticism and desire
kd lang a certain kind of woman
Talkin bout a revolution Tracy Chapman political uprisings domestic violence and love
Authenticity truthfulness and community Tori Amos Courtney Love PJ Harvey and Bjork
Artifice and the imperatives of commercial success From Brit Pop to the Spice Girls

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About the author (2000)

Sheila Whiteley is Reader in Popular Music at the University of Salford. She is the author of The Space Between the Notes (Routledge 1992) and editor of Sexing the Groove (Routledge 1997).

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