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Gender Roles in Country Music

A look at representations of masculinity in two mainstream country genre songs.

Kristin Hopper

on 16 May 2011

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Transcript of Gender Roles in Country Music

Songs found in today's mainstream country music reinforce heteronormative gender roles. Musicians serve as role models, and song lyrics are the scripts, for audiences (listeners) to learn about "normal" social behaviors. Thesis Social Learing Theory Brad Paisley - I'm Still A Guy Media Sample Two Media Sample One Gary Allan - Tough Little Boys Conclusion Sample 2 "I’m still a guy”

Depicts a very rigid in definition of manhood
(Objectify women, fight male competition, use guns)

Tells audience what constitutes un-manliness*
(Having a small dog, manicure, pedicure, fashionable)

*In this particular instance -- specifically indicating that men who pay too much attention to appearance are lacking the sex organs that literally make a man male (emasculation, negative reinforcement of behavior) as such men "don't have a pair" <---------- Evaluation Sample 1 "Tough Little Boys”

Initially describes expected behaviors for men
(Fighting bullies, not crying, strength)

Discusses father’s emotional connection to children
(Being scared, crying, protecting, worrying)

While this song acknowledges a man's emotions about a his daughters, it also notes that such emotions are kept hidden at all times, even from said daughters. "I don't highlight my hair...I still have a pair. Honey, I'm still a guy." "I know one day I'll give you away, and
I'm gonna smile, but when I get home, and
I'm alone, I'll sit your room for a while." <---------- Sample 2, "I'm Still A Guy" does offer evidence of supporting and reinforcing masculine hetero-normalcy. Sample 1, "Tought Little Boys" offers a partial support my thesis. This song of reinforces masculine hetero-normalcy, and also offers the idea of male emotions, which are usually aligned with representations of femininity. <---------- <----------
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