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Title: Women conductors : a qualitative study of gender, family, 'the body' and discrimination
Author: Lazarou, Loucia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 6074
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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The purpose of this study is to develop a broader appreciation of women’s experiences of conducting, focusing on issues concerning embodiment, body language, clothing and so forth in order to place emphasis on their life experiences. The research is based upon thematic analysis (TA) of qualitative interviews conducted with women conductors living in the UK (N=8) alongside detailed Media Content Analysis (MCA) of data derived from online magazines, online newspapers, online blogs and Internet articles. The results reveal prevalent gender discrimination, bias, sexism and misogyny against women in the conducting profession. Specifically, six broad themes emerged through the data analysis. These are: 1) gender discrimination (TA and MCA suggest that gender bias, discrimination, sexist and misogynist comments and attitudes still occur within the conducting profession); 2) factors that influence women conductors’ career development (TA suggests that families as well as a musical background of women conductors have motivated them to pursue and develop a musical career); 3) achieving balance (TA and MCA support that a balance between professional and personal life can be difficult to achieve); 4) clothing (TA and MCA suggest that clothing choices are very important for women conductors, affecting them personally in terms of how they are perceived by other musicians and/or audiences); 5) the conducting body (TA and MCA conclude that gender is not a factor affecting women’s bodily communication; however, their gestures may be perceived differently by people); and 6) conducting and leadership (TA and MCA suggest that the concept of the male ‘tradition’ is the main factor that has prevented women conductors from being seen as great leaders, therefore, women lack the experience and practice to develop their leadership abilities). Taken together, these factors highlight the continuing struggle that women experience in conducting today and provide an insight of how they cope with their profession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available