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‘It’s a man’s man’s man’s world’: Music groupies and the othering of women in the world of rock

Larsen, G.

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Abstract

Groupies are understood as a particular type of fan that are most commonly associated with rock music. The ‘groupie’ identity is almost exclusively applied to female fans but sometimes also to female music producers and is largely used in a derogatory manner both by the popular media and by fans themselves. This article argues that the ‘groupie’ identity is used to ‘other’ and exclude women from creative production in rock music. This study draws on a rhetorical analysis of five published biographical accounts of groupies to examine how the labeling of certain people as ‘groupies’ works as an othering practice that serves to support and maintain the gendered norms of rock and identifies three underlying discursive processes. First, popular and music media played a significant role in stereotyping groupie as female right from the emergence of the label. Second, the notions of ‘credibility’ and ‘authenticity’, which are central to serious music journalism, are constructed in such a way as to stigmatize and therefore exclude women from rock, primarily by reframing ‘groupies’ as inauthentic consumers rather than proper fans. Finally, the intertwining of femininity with fandom, as occurs in groupiedom, serves to magnify cultural assumptions about women as sex objects and as passive consumers of mass culture. In elucidating both the gender and marketplace role politics at play in the ‘groupie’ identity and the mechanisms involved in othering women, space is opened in which alternative possibilities for understanding and enacting the role of women in rock can be imagined.

Citation

Larsen, G. (2017). ‘It’s a man’s man’s man’s world’: Music groupies and the othering of women in the world of rock. Organization, 24(3), 397-417. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508416689095

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2017
Online Publication Date May 10, 2017
Publication Date May 10, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2017
Journal Organization
Print ISSN 1350-5084
Electronic ISSN 1461-7323
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 397-417
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508416689095
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1387402

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Copyright Statement
Larsen, G. (2017) '‘It’s a man’s man’s man’s world’ : music groupies and the othering of women in the world of rock.', Organization., 24 (3). pp. 397-417. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.







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