PUNK FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SECOND SEX; An anthropological study of gender roles and gender equality in the Swedish punk scene in 2023
This thesis investigates female punk musicians’ experiences of the punk scene in Sweden, focusing on the construction of gender and gender roles among bands of the genre in 2023, as well as the treatment of the minority of female musicians. According to my participants’ beliefs, I also point towards what can still be done to improve gender equality in the Swedish punk scene. I argue that female musicians are expected to conform to certain gender roles in the Swedish punk scene, based on their own experiences. I suggest that there are at least four different gender roles female musicians in the Swedish punk scene have to conform to: ‘the woman’, ‘the singer’, ‘the mother’ and ‘the pretty face’. What I also suggest here is that more women joining the industry could improve gender equality and the treatment of female musicians by increasing the visibility of female role models in the scene and through female homosociality. This thesis builds on Judith Butler’s (1988) phenomenological and feminist theory of gender as constructed through a repetition of acts that can change over time, as well as Sherry B. Ortner’s (1974) idea of women as subordinate to men through the connection to and subordination of nature to culture. The construction of gender and gender roles in the Swedish punk scene are connected to Simone de Beauvoir’s (1949) idea of woman as ‘the other’ as opposed to men as ‘the subject’. Other central themes in this thesis are tokenism and habitus. The study was conducted mostly in the form of semi structured interviews with five female musicians who are active in the punk scene in Sweden today. Another method that was used was participant observation at a few punk shows in Sweden. This thesis is written in English, but the interviews were conducted in Swedish, which means they are translated in the thesis.