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In addressing the social phenomenon of gender inequalities, it is necessary to identify both the origins and perpetuating factors of such inequities. One such factor to examine is the social construction of gender. Societal understandings of gender are influenced by cultural representations. This research was conducted for the purpose of examining and identifying gender roles within the music genre New Jill Swing. New Jill Swing was a popular female dominated musical genre that rose to notoriety in the 1980s. Due to a matter of familiarity, the musical group Salt N’ Pepa was chosen as a representation of New Jill Swing music. With the media’s influence contributing to the social construction of gender, the members of this group used their cultural influence as a stage to verbally declare their feminism and address gender roles. Four of their billboard hits were selected for content analysis. The songs were selected based on the number of times they were mentioned when an internet search was conducted using “Salt N’ Peppa” as the search criteria. Examining the song lyrics and their accompanying videos resulted in a revelation of words and images denouncing gender expectations. Their songs told females to get louder, talk about sex and to be independent. This descriptive research was conducted in a qualitative manner, as opposed to quantitative. Therefore, projected images of females in what is traditionally defined as masculine roles, as well as men depicted in submissive roles, were noted. Salt N’ Pepa challenged the male-dominated New Jack Swing genre, in a sort of call and response. As New Jack Swing artists made notable impressions in American culture, New Jill Swing artists Salt N’ Pepa worked to offer an alternative to the status quo by challenging the matrix of domination.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3213

  • Event date
    • 2 November 2019

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022