Women on this planet: globalisation and girl rock in Taiwan
Source TitlePerfect Beat: the Pacific journal of research into contemporary music and popular culture
University of Melbourne Author/sMartin, Francesca
AffiliationCulture and Communication
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMARTIN, F. (2006). Women on this planet: globalisation and girl rock in Taiwan. Perfect Beat: the Pacific journal of research into contemporary music and popular culture, 7 (4), pp.5-31
Access StatusOpen Access
Deposited with permission of Perfect Beat and Macquarie University.
Pop music culture in Taiwan has undergone a striking metamorphosis over the past decade. Industrial reorganisation in the second half of the 1990s following the advent of the ‘Big Five’ global music corporations has occurred alongside a series of cultural shifts resulting from the localisation of global flows of musical styles and movements. In this paper I analyse some of the local effects of a particular cluster of globalising movements: those of musical ‘girl cultures’. I discuss Taiwanese manifestations of globally mobile configurations of ‘girl rock’ and ‘girl power’ through analysis of two examples with which I became familiar following extended periods living and researching in Taipei in the mid to late 1990s: all-girl punk band Ladybug and independent folk-rock singer-songwriter and producer Sandee Chan. These examples were not chosen with the aim of offering a representative overview of women in Taiwanese popular music, but rather as a pair of case studies interesting to consider together in the light of the way in which they each draw upon globalising musical and cultural trends. By considering these case studies I aim to explore three sets of interrelated questions. First, I consider how to conceptualise the complex cultural interchanges between globalising musical girl cultures and their local instances in Taiwan. Through what channels are movements like Riot Girl or the ‘girl power’ of the Spice Girls translated into Taiwan’s local contexts, and what effects do they produce for Taiwanese women musicians? Second, I reflect on how best to figure the relations between a musical ‘mainstream’ and its ‘alternative’ in the context of the changing configurations of Taiwan’s music industry today.
KeywordsPerforming Arts and Creative Writing
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