Tackling gender inequalities in music: a comparative study of policy responses in the UK and Sweden

Autoria: Sam De Boise
Ano: 2019

Cross-disciplinary research has highlighted the persistence of gender inequalities across music scenes. However, the way in which cultural policy shapes responses to gender inequalities in music has been relatively underexplored. This article draws on research from Swedish and UK contexts, supporting analysis with reference to 9 key-stakeholder interviews from both. Comparing perspectives from ‘more’ and ‘less’ gender-equal contexts, with sufficiently different cultural policy traditions, the article explores how responses to gender inequalities in music are influenced by ‘cultural democratic’ and ‘arm’s length’ approaches. It demonstrates that, as a result of these traditions, there is a comparatively more interventionist approach in Sweden at a national level, whereas the lack of central government response in the UK has encouraged more market-oriented solutions. It suggests that this ‘arm’s length’ approach necessitates different grassroots organisational strategies in order to affect change but notes that these, alongside austerity agendas, are insufficient in the long term.