"Schippers' account of the rock music subculture in Chicago between
1992 and 1995 is an ethnographic study based on casual interactions
with a core group of rock fans, interviews with rock musicians, and
field trips into bars and clubs of the Wicker Park area. The result
provides fascinating, informative anecdotal information. Drawing
from theorists Anthony Giddens, Candace West, Don Zimmerman, Judith
Butler, and others, Schippers interprets performances, gestures,
and language as well as values-both implied and explicitly
stated-as maneuvers employed by members of that subculture to
undermine expressions of (and attitudes reflecting) sexism and
bigotry."-Choice "An astute analysis of rock music's gender
politics that manages to be both perceptive and fun to read-a rare
feat."- Arlene Stein, author of Sex and Sensibility: Stories of a
Lesbian Generation Given the long history of feminism and its
contested place in popular culture, important, practical questions
arise: What effect, if any, have feminist ideas and practices had
on the lives of young men and women who grew up with them? How do
these individuals negotiate the realities of gender in their daily
lives? Employing the crucial feminist insight that gender is a
constantly shifting performance and not an essential quality
related to sex, Mimi Schippers explores the gender roles,
assumptions, and transgressions of the men and women involved in
the alternative hard rock scene. She uses the innovative term
gender maneuvering to explain how gender and sexuality are
negotiated and always changing features of social relations. This
process operates as a cultural practice and as an individual
strategy of resistance to socially prescribed gender roles.
Schippers conducted extensive interviews with fans as well as
musicians, including Ian MacKaye of Fugazi, Eddie Vedder of Pearl
Jam, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, Donita Sparks and Jennifer Finch of
L7, Kat Bjelland and Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland, Rose
Marshack of Poster Children, Louise Post and Nina Gordon of Veruca
Salt, and Liz Davis and Valerie Agnew of 7 Year Bitch. As it
documents the development of a rock music genre that has so far
received little academic attention, Rockin' out of the Box also
demonstrates how this musical culture contributes to our
understanding of the daily practices of gender relations among
young people. Mimi Schippers is an assistant professor of sociology
and women's studies at Tulane University.
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