The Impact of Online Spaces on Women's Electric Guitar Practice

Lead Research Organisation: University of Huddersfield
Department Name: School of Arts and Humanities


This two-year postdoctoral project will analyse the impact of online spaces on women's electric guitar practice and examine the factors that enable and motivate women to become electric guitarists. Studies have shown that women have been inhibited from becoming electric guitarists due to a variety of sociocultural factors. However, these studies largely pre-dated the Internet and did not examine its role in related musical practices. The objectives of WEG are as follows: 1) To generate new data on women guitarists' online practices, with attention to different generations, and affordances of relevant platforms; 2) To generate new data about the specifically gendered nature of that engagement, both positive and negative; and 3) To generate new data on the changing discourses about guitars and women guitarists. The objectives will be achieved through three phases of research. The first will involve analysis of online guitar magazines to locate content related to women and their guitar practices and to establish what the discourses around them are. Next, the ER will utilize netnography to explore and analyse women's online activities related to electric guitar practice, such as watching tutorials, taking lessons, buying equipment, posting self-performance videos, and engaging in online forums. Third, the ER will conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with women electric guitarists from a wide age range and with different levels of experience. WEG will generate new knowledge that will be of interest to scholars across disciplines, will be relevant to the marketing departments of guitar manufacturers, and aims to encourage more women to become interested in the electric guitar and therefore play a role in consumer awareness. WEG will enhance the ER's career prospects by enabling a more developed intellectual profile, methodological expertise, four publications that will strengthen her publication record, and will foster a relevant, UK-based professional network.


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