Act Like a Punk, Sing Like a Feminist: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Feminist Themes in Punk Rock Song Lyrics, 1970-2009
Description: Punk rock music has long been labeled sexist as copious media-generated accounts and reports of the genre concentrate on male artists, hyper-masculine performances, and lyrics considered to be aggressive, sexist, and misogynist. However, scholars have rarely examined punk rock music longitudinally, focusing heavily on 1980s and 1990s manifestations of the genre. Furthermore, few systematic content analyses of feminist themes in punk rock song lyrics have been conducted. The present research is a longitudinal content analysis of lyrics of 600 punk rock songs released for four decades between 1970 and 2009 to examine the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in antiestablishment themes, the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in sexist themes relative to feminist themes, the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in specific feminist branches, and what factors are related to feminism. Using top-rated albums retrieved from Sputnik Music’s “Best Punk Albums” charts, systematic random sampling was applied to select 50 songs for each combination of three gender types and four decades. Sexism and feminism were then operationalized to construct a coding sheet to examine relevant dimensions. While the present study found no significant patterns of longitudinal increase or decrease in feminist or sexist themes, it revealed that feminist themes were consistently high across four decades and, furthermore, indicated a phenomenon of post-modern hybridity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Levine, Lauren E.