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Degrees of intersectionality: Male rap artists in Sweden negotiating class, race and gender
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 5, 189-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

“Intersectionality” has become a highly influential concept in gender research over the last 25 years. Debates have focused on differences and power asymmetries between women, in terms of race but also addressing class, age, sexuality, ability and nation. However, intersectional paradigms have been used to a much lesser extent in gender studies on men. This article seeks to contribute to an emerging discussion about intersectionality and masculinity by analyzing rap lyrics in Swe-dish songs. The data consists of a broad sample of rap lyrics by male artists 1991-2011, which is analyzed through poststructuralist discourse analysis and queer phenomenology. The analysis shows how classed discourses can be described in terms of orientation and flow, how racialization is articulated in terms of place, and the role of normative notions of gender and sexuality in anti-racist discourses. It is argued that this interconnectedness – class being related to race, which in turn is profoundly gendered – is neither well captured by the prevailing notion of “masculinities” in gender studies on men, nor by the “constitution” vs. “addition” dichotomy in intersectionality debates. Instead, it is suggested that degrees of in-tersectionality might be a more fruitful way of theorizing intersectionality in rela-tion to men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 5, 189-211 p.
Keyword [en]
intersectionality, hip hop, rap lyrics, men and masculinities, racialization, class, queer phenomenology, Sweden
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201659DOI: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.135189OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-201659DiVA: diva2:628363
Available from: 2013-06-13 Created: 2013-06-13 Last updated: 2015-01-22
In thesis
1. Reading Rap: Feminist Interventions in Men and Masculinity Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading Rap: Feminist Interventions in Men and Masculinity Research
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 66 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 101
hip hop, rap lyrics, men and masculinity, feminist theory, intersectionality, queer theory, poststructuralism, feminist phenomenology, discourse analysis, cultural studies, popular music, gender, sexuality, race, class
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229518 (URN)978-91-554-9012-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, Room IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-09-19 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2015-01-22

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Berggren, Kalle
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