Tigers of a Different StripePerforming Gender in Dominican Music

Tigers of a Different StripePerforming Gender in Dominican Music

Sydney Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226405322

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

This feminist-oriented ethnography of Dominican gender performance focuses on masculinity and femininity in accordion-based merengue típico while also touching on cross-dressing and queer performance in other popular genres like bachata, reggaetón, orquesta merengue, merengue de calle, and fusion musics. By combining music, movement, video, and literary analysis with oral history, Tigers offers a new model for the holistic study of gender, while demonstrating the importance of local feminisms and local musics for understanding as well as destabilizing traditional notions of gender and genre. As a whole, the book aims to provide a new perspective on Caribbean gender that considers classic binaries but goes beyond them; to show how music can either reinforce entrenched gender roles or help to open up possibilities by imagining new roles and identities for all genders; to give concrete examples demonstrating the performativity of gender; and to show how powerfully musical performance unites gender, racial, national, and other identities, with both the problems and opportunities that such conjunctions entail.