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Emotions in music culture: the circulation of love
Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History, Gender studies.
2012 (English)In: Global Media Journal : Australian Edition, ISSN 1835-2340, Vol. 6, no 1, -8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Human feeling or emotion is a growing area of interest for cultural theory, particularly as a site of cultural negotiations of symbolic and affective kinds (Ahmed, 2004; Berlant, 1997; Massumi, 2002). Rather than perceiving emotions as a ‘thing’ outside or determined by culture, seeing emotions as an important part of the cultural process opens up opportunities for studying their role in cultural practices. Drawing on Ahmed’s theories of ‘happiness’, this article explores the emotions expressed and discussed by a group of 14 to 16 year old girls in Sweden when listening to, talking about, and producing, sad love songs. The article examines how these emotions take part in shaping the girl’s gendered orientation toward some things and not others. Sad love songs by American and Swedish artists were popular with most of the girls taking part in a study of girls’ music culture and they perceived these songs as ‘good’ and connected to a particular emotional range. Most often the emotions expressed in the songs were those of sadness and pain caused by lost, failed or never achieved love. These emotions were a source of joy among the girls. In particular, sharing and listening to specific songs was described as joyful. The emotional experiences that they associated with sad love songs oriented the girls toward ideas and subjects such as love and boys. A future and grown-up heterosexual femininity was imagined. Furthermore, the girls’ emotional experiences and talk created gendered ideals about who they wanted to become in order to be happy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, no 1, -8 p.
Keyword [en]
emotion, music, gender, love, girls
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16949OAI: diva2:546688
Available from: 2012-08-24 Created: 2012-08-24 Last updated: 2014-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Werner, Ann
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