Gender, Popular Music and Australian Identity

Introduction to Special Issue


  • Catherine Strong RMIT University



gender, Australia, inequality, popular music


 This introduction gives an overview of the limited literature that is available on the subject of gender and popular music in the Australian context. Despite demonstrable ongoing gender disparity in the Australian music industry, very little academic attention has been paid to this issue. This special edition aims to at least partly address this gap. This opening article introduces the texts for the special issue, and places them into a framework that will demonstrate the relevance and importance of the special issue in terms of finding space for the debates on gender in this field.    

Author Biography

Catherine Strong, RMIT University

Catherine Strong is a lecturer in the Music Industry program at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. Among her publications are Grunge: Popular Music and Memory (Ashgate, 2011), and Death and the Rock Star (edited with Barbara Lebrun, Ashgate, 2015). Her research deals with various aspects of memory, nostalgia and gender in rock music, popular culture and the media. She is currently Chair of IASPM-ANZ and reviews editor for Perfect Beat.   


“A Man’s World? Music Festival Posters Bare after Male Acts Removed”. 2015. The Guardian, 23 June. (accessed 24 February 2016).

AIR. 2011. Ladies and Gentlemen on the Radio. Australian Independent Record Labels Association newsletter, July 2011.

Barney, Katelyn. 2014. “Gendering Aboriginalism: A Performative Gaze on Indigenous Australian Women”. In History, Power, Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies, edited by Timothy Neale, Crystal McKinnon and Eve Vincent, 479–501. Sydney: UTS ePress. DOI:

Driver, Chris. 2011. “Embodying Hardcore: Rethinking ‘Subcultural’ Authenticities”. Journal of Youth Studies 14/8: 975–90. DOI:

Gibson, Chris and Peter Dunbar-Hall. 2004. Deadly Sounds, Deadly Places: Contemporary Aboriginal Music in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Hatton, Erin and Mary Nell Trautner. 2011. “Equal Opportunity Objectification? The Sexualization of Men and Women on the Cover of Rolling Stone”. Sexuality and Culture 15/4: 256–78. DOI:

Homan, Shane. 2010. “Popular Music”. In The Media and Communications in Australia, edited by Stuart Cunningham and Graeme Turner, 3rd edn, 217–36. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin.

Lieb, Kristin J. 2013. Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry. New York: Routledge. DOI:

Music Victoria. 2015. Women in the Victorian Contemporary Music Industry. Melbourne: Music Victoria.

Ottosson, Åse. 2016. Making Aboriginal Men and Music in Central Australia. London: Bloomsbury.

Overell, Rosemary. 2010. “Brutal Belonging in Melbourne’s Grindcore Scene”. Studies in Symbolic Interaction 35: 79–99. DOI:

Stratton, Jon. 2007. Australian Rock: Essays on Popular Music. Perth: Network Books.

—2008. “A Jew Singing Like a Black Woman in Australia: Race, Renée Geyer, and Marcia Hines”. Journal of Popular Music Studies 20/2: 166–93. DOI:

Strong, Catherine. 2014. “‘All the Girls in Town’: The Missing Women of Australian Rock, Cultural Memory and Coverage of the Death of Chrissy Amphlett”. Perfect Beat 15/1: 149–66. DOI:

Taylor, Jodie. 2012. Playing it Queer: Popular Music, Identity and Queer World-Making. Bern: Peter Lang. DOI:

Young, Greg. 2004. “‘So Slide Over Here’: The Aesthetics of Masculinity in Late Twentieth-century Australian Pop Music”. Popular Music 23/2: 173–93. DOI:




How to Cite

Strong, C. (2016). Gender, Popular Music and Australian Identity: Introduction to Special Issue. Journal of World Popular Music, 3(1), 10–16.