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Sex, Race, and Rock - GEND230

In this unit, we will explore the cultural history of and links between sexuality, gender, race, and rock music. Influenced by black and working-class cultures, and with sexuality embedded in its form and practice, rock music has challenged and transformed existing norms of family, sex and gender. It has also been a site of struggle between the freedom that music enables, and the commodification that spreads its sounds and meanings. We begin with slave songs in the nineteenth century and travel through the 1950s boom of rock’n’roll and Elvis, the 1960s British Invasion, the 1970s emergence of disco, the 1980s MTV revolution, and conclude with Laura Jane Grace, Beyoncé, and the contemporary music scene. Along the way, we uncover the hidden histories and pioneering contributions of women—especially women of colour, explore how glam rock, disco, and MTV laid the foundations of performative gender and queer theories, and learn how social identities and ideals have been reflected in and shaped by rock music.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 Online - Session 2, Online

Staff Contact(s): Dr Rebecca Sheehan

Admission to GDipArts or (12cp at 100 level or above) Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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