Advertisement

Vocalising Gender and Class

  • Clare Hall
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)

Abstract

Through a close reading of the boys’ stories of being ‘different’, the way gender and class elide in the making of their particular musical habitus is discussed in this chapter. The argument is developed that the musical tastes, knowledge and skills of the choirboys delineate their symbolic distinction as bearers of legitimate culture, which enables them to counter the dominant cultural narrative that this type of singing is ‘feminine’. What inhabitants of this field share is an investment in a ‘well-rounded’ intellectual, physical and aesthetic education, and I argue that this is the crux of the choirboys’ middle-class power. I make an analogy between the cultivated bodily dispositions of the choirboy and the polymath of the classical Greek world. How the choirboys profit from reproducing old cultural narratives in new ways provides a rarely seen, close-up view of the operations of habitus in children’s everyday lives.

References

  1. Adkins, L., & Skeggs, B. (Eds.). (2004). Feminism after Bourdieu. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, A. (2002). A case study of boys’ experiences of singing in school. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, M. (2004). Counter-narratives and the power to oppose. In M. Bamberg & M. Andrews (Eds.), Considering counter-narratives: Narrating, resisting, making sense (pp. 1–6). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  4. Ashley, M. (2009). How high should boys sing?: Gender, authenticity and credibility in the young male voice. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, T., Emmison, M., & Frow, J. (1999). Music tastes and music knowledge. In Accounting for tastes: Australian everyday cultures (pp. 170–200). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, P. (1984b). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. (2001). Masculine domination. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Connell, R. W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept. Gender and Society, 19(6), 829–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dillabough, J. (2004). Class, culture and the ‘predicaments of masculine domination’: Encountering Pierre Bourdieu. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 25(4), 489–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elliott, D. (1995). Music matters: A new philosophy of music education. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fowler, B. (2003). Reading Pierre Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination: Notes towards an intersectional analysis of gender, culture and class. Cultural Studies, 17(3), 468–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Francis, B. (2008). Engendering debate: How to formulate a political analysis of the divide between genetic bodies and discursive gender. Journal of Gender Studies, 17(3), 211–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Green, L. (1997). Music, gender, education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harrison, S. (2003b). Music versus sport: What’s the score? Australian Journal for Music Education, 1, 10–15.Google Scholar
  16. Harrison, S. (2008). Masculinities and music: Engaging men and boys in making music. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.Google Scholar
  17. Haunch, B. (1995). Where late the sweet birds sang. Cathedral Music, November. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from http://www.ctcc.org.uk/swetbrds.htm
  18. Hess, J. (2015). Decolonizing music education: Moving beyond tokenism. International Journal of Music Education, 33(3), 336–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Karlsen, S., & Väkevä, L. (2012). Future prospects for music education: Corroborating informal learning pedagogy. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Krais, B. (2006). Gender, sociological theory and Bourdieu’s sociology of practice. Theory, Culture and Society, 23(6), 119–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lobenstine, M. (2006). The renaissance soul: Life design for people with too many interests to pick just one. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
  22. Lovell, T. (2000). Thinking feminism with and against Bourdieu. Feminist Theory, 1(1), 11–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Magrini, T. (Ed.). (2003). Music and gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  24. McCarthy, M. (1999). Passing it on: The transmission of music in Irish culture. Cork, Ireland: Cork University Press.Google Scholar
  25. McClary, S. (1989). Terminal prestige: The case of avant-garde music composition. Cultural Critique, 12(Spring), 57–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McLeod, J. (2005). Feminists re-reading Bourdieu: Old debates and new questions about gender habitus and gender change. Theory and Research in Education, 3(1), 11–30.Google Scholar
  27. McNay, L. (1999). Gender, habitus and the field: Pierre Bourdieu and the limits of reflexivity. Theory, Culture & Society, 16(1), 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McNay, L. (2000). Gender and agency: Reconfiguring the subject in feminist and social theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  29. Paechter, C. (2006b). Masculine femininities/feminine masculinities: Power, identities and gender. Gender and Education, 18(3), 253–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Paechter, C., & Clark, S. (2007). Learning gender in primary school playgrounds: Findings from the tomboy identities study. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 15(3), 317–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pascale, L. (2005). Dispelling the myth of the non-singer: Embracing two aesthetics for singing. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 13(2), 165–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rainbow, B. (1997). Cathedral choirs: New directions. Organists’ Review, August. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from http://www.ctcc.org.uk/position.htm
  33. Renold, E. (2004). ‘Other’ boys: Negotiating non-hegemonic masculinities in the primary school. Gender and Education, 16(2), 247–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Renold, E. (2005). Girls, boys and junior sexualities: Exploring childrens’ gender and sexual relations in the primary school. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  35. Skeggs, B. (1997). Formations of class and gender: Becoming respectable. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. Smith, B., & Sparkes, A. (2004). Men, sport and spinal cord injury: An analysis of metaphors and narrative types. Disability and Society, 19(6), 613–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith, G. D., Dines, M., & Parkinson, T. (Eds.). (2018). Punk pedagogies: Music, culture and learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Stahl, G. (2015). Identity, neoliberalism and aspiration: Educating white working-class boys. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Turner, G. (Ed.). (1987). The Australian concise Oxford dictionary. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Vincent, C., & Ball, S. (2007). ‘Making up’ the middle-class child: Families, activities and class dispositions. Sociology, 41(6), 1061–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Walkerdine, V., & Lucey, H. (1989). Democracy in the kitchen. London: Virago.Google Scholar
  42. Welch, G. (1997). The developing voice. In L. Thurman & G. F. Welch (Eds.), Bodymind and voice: Foundations of voice education (pp. 704–717). Iowa City: National Center for Voice and Speech.Google Scholar
  43. Welch, G., & Howard, D. (2002). Gendered voice in the cathedral choir. Psychology of Music, 30, 102–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wright, R. (2008). Kicking the habitus: Power, culture and pedagogy in the secondary school music curriculum. Music Education Research, 10(3), 389–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zieman, K. (2008). Singing the new song: Literacy and liturgy in late medieval England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityFrankstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations