Race, Sex, and Popular Music

Centre for Continuing Education
Tuesday, 6 October 2015 - 7:00 pm
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Music is a major part of popular culture, and many of our society’s social issues are reflected in this art form. Looking at cultural issues through the lens of popular music makes for interesting discussion. Some topics we’ll look at include the racialization of musical genres, and how this persists even today. We’ll discuss gender roles (which are often extremely limited for both men and women) and the performers who push the boundaries of these roles, and others who maintain the patriarchal status quo. Racial and gendered stereotypes are often perpetuated through popular music, and we’ll expose these and other cultural norms and biases to learn more about music, our society, and ourselves. From Pop to Rock-n-Roll to Hip-Hop and more, we’ll examine the social histories of several musical genres, and discuss important cultural issues from the 1950s to the present. No musical experience is required; all you need is a love of music and life!


Keith McCuaig 

With a B.A. and M.A. in musicology, and twenty years of experience as a musician, Keith McCuaig is a specialist in all things music and art. Keith has delivered guest lectures at two universities, and presented at multiple international musicology conferences. From performing, recording, and producing, to lecturing, giving music lessons, and working with community music programs such as Ottawa Bluesfest’s Blues in the Schools and Be in the Band, Keith’s life and passion is music.