Race, Gender and the Billboard Top 40 Charts between 1997 and 2007

Title: Race, Gender and the Billboard Top 40 Charts between 1997 and 2007
Authors: Durr, Jean
Date: 2011
Abstract: In a preceding study, Lafrance, Worcester and Burns (2011) examine gender-related trends on the Billboard Top 40 music charts between 1997 and 2007. Taking frequency and success score distributions as indicators, they determine that the Top 40 charts are characterized by gender inequality, with women charting considerably less often than men. When women do chart, however, these hit songs rapidly approach the number one rank. As a follow-up to their research, this paper combines the gender variable with that of race. Attempts are made to answer the following research question: What is the nature of race-based trends among Black, White and Other artists as they manifest on the Billboard music charts; and, to what extent does the gender variable factor into these findings? By describing frequency distributions, I conclude that race-based trends do exist; as well, they are consistent across both sales and airplay charts. As established in the original paper, gender does prove to be a noteworthy factor in these findings. Key to this study, however, is the finding that signifiers of race equality on the Billboard music charts do not translate into a meaningful indicator of race equality in society at large.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/26029
CollectionÉtudes féministes et de genre - Mémoires // Feminist and Gender Studies – Research Papers
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