School music in the welfare state: genred, gendered and gentrified?

Dr. Live Weider Ellefsen

In Norway, as elsewhere, high political hopes are invested with music education to contribute to the individual growth and socialisation of children and adolescents. This talk draws on research conducted on stages 1-13 of public school music education in Norwegian to address the discursive dynamics of such socialisation. More specifically, I address the dynamics whereby school music and musicking always already seem to be genred, gendered and even, to some extent, gentrified. In this context, the three concepts are taken to imply procedures of interpretation and classification where existing value systems and categories in the social are operationalised and (re)negotiated, including categories for people (and groups of people). Inspired by Butlers’ Foucauldian take on discursive subjection and aided by a sociological concept of classification, I consider how genring, gendering and gentrification might constitute technologies of power/knowledge whereby the music educational subjects as well as objects of the welfare state are constituted.