Enhancing Social Connectedness or Stabilising Oppression: Is Participation in Music Free From Gendered Subjectivity?


anti-oppressive practice
community music therapy

How to Cite

Scrine, E. (2016). Enhancing Social Connectedness or Stabilising Oppression: Is Participation in Music Free From Gendered Subjectivity?. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v16i2.881


Connectedness and inclusivity are components of a healthy community. However, intersectional feminist thought poses that exclusion and marginalisation are enacted through gendered power structures and affect the lives of individuals and communities around the world on multiple intersecting axes, including gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability (Crenshaw, 1989). Critical analysis of music in its high art form, from traditional music education and musical narratives, to jazz, to what instrument one chooses, highlights a raced, classed gender order, and an ongoing cultural bias that privileges a heteronormative narrative, and highlights the work and importance of men’s contributions (Bradley, 2007; Gould, 2007; Maus, 2011). While community approaches to musical participation may seek to emancipate and transcend moral hierarchies which dictate who can and cannot participate, I contend that these may occur within the context of a deeply entrenched gender order. By focusing only on the essential and universal, or liberating and connecting qualities of music and music therapy for all of humanity, we may sidestep and erase histories of oppression and marginalisation. This article uses a critical lens to explore the literature for contexts in music that preserve a male dominated gender order, and seeks to question and problematise the notion that music provides equal opportunity for social connectedness.

Articles published prior to 2019 are subject to the following license, see: https://voices.no/index.php/voices/copyright

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the  Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.


Bergen Open Access Publishing