Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | Degrees of Intersectionality: Male Rap Artists in Sweden Negotiating Class, Race and Gender

Degrees of Intersectionality: Male Rap Artists in Sweden Negotiating Class, Race and Gender
Kalle Berggren: Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Sweden
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

No. of pages:
Publication type:

“Intersectionality” has become a highly influential concept in gender research over the last 25 years. Debates have focused on differences and power asymmetries between women, in terms of race but also addressing class, age, sexuality, ability and nation. However, intersectional paradigms have been used to a much lesser extent in gender studies on men. This article seeks to contribute to an emerging discussion about intersectionality and masculinity by analyzing rap lyrics in Swedish songs. The data consists of a broad sample of rap lyrics by male artists 1991-2011, which is analyzed through poststructuralist discourse analysis and queer phenomenology. The analysis shows how classed discourses can be described in terms of orientation and flow, how racialization is articulated in terms of place, and the role of normative notions of gender and sexuality in anti-racist discourses. It is argued that this interconnectedness – class being related to race, which in turn is profoundly gendered – is neither well captured by the prevailing notion of “masculinities” in gender studies on men, nor by the “constitution” vs. “addition” dichotomy in intersectionality debates. Instead, it is suggested that degrees of intersectionality might be a more fruitful way of theorizing intersectionality in rela-tion to men.

Keywords: Intersectionality; hip hop; rap lyrics; men and masculinities; racialization; class; queer phenomenology; Sweden.

Volume 5, Theme: Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

, Article 14, 2013

Kalle Berggren
Degrees of Intersectionality: Male Rap Artists in Sweden Negotiating Class, Race and Gender:
  • Ahmed, Sara (2006): Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Ahmed, Sara (2010): The Promise of Happiness, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Alim, H. Samy, Awad Ibrahim & Alastair Pennycook (2009): Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop Cultures, Youth Identities, and the Politics of Language, New York: Routledge.
  • Anthias, Floya & Nira Yuval-Davis (1983): “Contextualizing Feminism: Gender, Ethnic and Class Divisions”, Feminist Review, 15, 62–75. DOI: 10.1057/fr.1983.33
  • Basu, Dipannita & Sidney Lemelle (2006): The Vinyl ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalisation of Black Popular Culture, London: Pluto.
  • Baxter, Judith (2003): Positioning gender in discourse: a feminist methodology, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9780230501263
  • Baxter, Judith (2008): “Feminist Post-structuralist Discourse Dnalysis – A New Theoretical and Methodological Approach?”, Kate Harrington, Lia Litosseliti, Helen Sauntson & Jane Sunderland (eds): Gender and Language Research Methodologies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Beasley, Chris (2005): Gender and Sexuality: Critical Theories, Critical Thinkers, London: Sage.
  • Beasley, Chris (2008): “Rethinking Hegemonic Masculinity in a Globalizing World”, Men and Masculinities, 11:1, 86–103. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X08315102
  • Berggren, Kalle (2012): “‘No homo’: Straight Inoculations and the Queering of Masculinity in Swedish Hip Hop”, Norma - Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies, 7:1, 50–66.
  • Bilge, Sirma (2009): “Smuggling Intersectionality into the Study of Masculinity: Some Methodological Challenges”, Paper presented at Feminist Research Methods conference, Stockholm University: Centre for Gender studies.
  • Bourdieu, Pierre (1984): Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, London: Routledge.
  • Bredström, Anna & Magnus Dahlstedt (2002): “‘Folkhemsrap?’: Motstånd och ‘anständighet’ i svensk hiphop”, Themes: Occasional Papers and Reprints on Ethnic Studies 7.
  • Brown, Wendy (2006): Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Connell, Raewyn (1995): Masculinities, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Connell, Raewyn & James W. Messerschmidt (2005): “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept”, Gender & Society 19:4, 829–859. DOI: 10.1177/0891243205278639
  • Crenshaw, Kimberlé (1991): “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”, Stanford Law Review 43:6, 1241–1299. DOI: 10.2307/1229039
  • Demetriou, Demetrakis Z. (2001): “Connell’s Concept of Masculinity: A Critique”, Theory and Society 30:3, 337–361. DOI: 10.1023/A:1017596718715
  • El-Tayeb, Fatima (2011): European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. PMCid:3290838
  • Fairclough, Norman (1992): Discourse and Social Change, Cambridge: Polity press.
  • Forman, Murray (2002): The ’Hood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip-hop, Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press.
  • Foucault, Michel (1990): The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1, The will to Knowledge, Harmondsworth: Penguin.
  • Frith, Simon. (1996): Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. PMCid:1377010
  • Frosh, Stephen, Ann Phoenix & Rob Pattman (2002): Young Masculinities: Understanding Boys in Contemporary Society, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Ganetz, Hillevi, Anna Gavanas, Hasse Huss & Ann Werner (2009): Rundgång: genus och populärmusik, Göteborg: Makadam.
  • Gavanas, Anna (2004): Fatherhood Politics in the United States: Masculinity, Sexuality, Race and Marriage, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Gottzén, Lucas & Rickard Jonsson (2012): “Goda män och Andra män”, Lucas Gottzén & Rickard Jonsson (eds): Andra män: maskulinitet, normskapande och jämställdhet, Malmö: Gleerups.
  • Hall, Stuart (1997): “The Spectacle of the Other”, Stuart Hall (ed.): Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, London: Sage.
  • Hancock, Ange-Marie (2007): “When Multiplication doesn’t Equal Quick Addition: Examining Intersectionality as a Research Paradigm”, Perspectives on Politics, 5:1, 63–79. DOI: 10.1017/S1537592707070065
  • Hearn, Jeff, Nordberg, Marie, Andersson, Kjerstin, Balkmar, Dag, Gottzén, Lucas, Klinth, Roger, Pringle, Keith & Linn Sandberg (2012): “Hegemonic Masculinity and Beyond: 40 Years of Research in Sweden”, Men and Masculinities 15:1, 31–55.
  • Hearn, Jeff (2011): “Neglected Intersectionalities in Studying Men: Age(ing), Virtuality, Transnationality”, Helma Lutz, Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar & Linda Supik (eds): Framing Intersectionality: Debates on a Multi-faceted Concept in Gender Studies, Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Hill Collins, Patricia (1990): Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Boston: Unwin Hyman.
  • Hill Collins, Patricia (2006): From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Hurtado, Aída & Mrinal Sinha (2008): “More than Men: Latino Feminist Masculinities and Intersectionality”, Sex Roles, 59:5-6, 337–349. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-008-9405-7
  • Hübinette, Tobias, Helena Hörnfeldt, Fataneh Farahani & René León Rosales (eds) (2012): Om ras och vithet i det samtida Sverige, Tumba: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  • Jeffries, Michael P (2011): Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-hop, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Jonsson, Rickard (2007): Blatte betyder kompis: om maskulinitet och språk i en högstadieskola, Stockholm: Ordfront.
  • Kalra, Virinder S., Raminder Kaur & John Hutnyk (2005): Diaspora & Hybridity, London: Sage.
  • Kamali, Masoud (2006): Integrationens svarta bok: agenda för jämlikhet och social sammanhållning: slutbetänkande, Stockholm: Fritzes.
  • Kilomba, Grada (2010): Plantation Memories: Episodes of Everyday Racism, Münster: Unrast.
  • Krogh, Mads & Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen (2008): Hiphop i Skandinavien, Århus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag.
  • León Rosales, René (2010): Vid framtidens hitersta gräns: om maskulina elevpositioner i en multietnisk skola, Stockholm: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  • Lewis, Gail (2009): “Celebrating Intersectionality? Debates on a Multi-faceted Concept in Gender Studies: Themes from a Conference”, European Journal of Women’s Studies 16:3, 203–210. DOI: 10.1177/1350506809105310
  • Lorde, Audre (1984): Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, Trumansburg, N.Y.: Crossing Press.
  • Lundström, Catrin (2007): Svenska latinas: ras, klass och kön i svenskhetens geografi, Göteborg: Makadam.
  • Lutz, Helma, Maria Teresa Herrera Vivar & Linda Supik (2011): “Framing Intersectionality: An Introduction”, Helma Lutz, Maria Teresa HerreraVivar & Linda Supik (eds): Framing Intersectionality: Debates on a Multi-faceted Concept in Gender Studies, Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Makkonen, Timo (2002): Multiple, Compound and Intersectional Discrimination: Bringing the Experiences of the Most Marginalized to the Fore, Åbo: Åbo Akademi University, Institute for Human Rights. PMid:12044343
  • Mattsson, Katarina (2005): “Diskrimineringens andra ansikte - normerande svenskhet och ‘det vita västerländska’”, Paulina de los Reyes & Masoud Kamali (eds): Bortom vi och dom: teoretiska reflektioner om makt, integration och strukturell diskriminering, Stockholm: Fritzes.
  • McCall, Leslie (2005): “The Complexity of Intersectionality”, Signs, 30:3, 1771–1800. DOI: 10.1086/426800
  • Messerschmidt, James W. (1997): Crime as Structured Action: Gender, Race, Class, and Crime in the Making, London: Sage.
  • Mitchell, Tony (2001): Global Noise: Rap and Hip-hop Outside the USA, Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade (1988): “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses”, Feminist Review 30, 61–88. DOI: 10.1057/fr.1988.42
  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade (2003): Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Molina, Irene (2005): “Koloniala kartografier av nation och förort”, Paulina de los Reyes & Lena Martinsson (eds): Olikhetens paradigm: intersektionella perspektiv på o(jäm)likhetsskapande, Lund: Studentlitteratur.
  • Moser, Ingunn (2006): “Sociotechnical Practices and Difference: On the Interferences Between Disability, Gender, and Class”, Science, Technology and Human Values, 31:5, 537–564. DOI: 10.1177/0162243906289611
  • Pascoe, C. J. (2007): Dude, you’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Pough, Gwendolyn D., Elaine Richardson, Aisha Durham & Rachel Raimist (eds) (2007): Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip hop Feminism Anthology, Mira Loma: Parker Publishing. PMid:17592184
  • Pringle, Keith (1995): Men, Masculinities and Social Welfare, London: UCL Press.
  • de los Reyes, Paulina, Irene Molina & Diana Mulinari (eds) (2002): Maktens (o)lika förklädnader: kön, klass & etnicitet i det postkoloniala Sverige: en festskrift till Wuokko Knocke, Stockholm: Atlas.
  • de los Reyes, Paulina & Diana Mulinari (2005): Intersektionalitet. Kritiska reflektioner över o(jäm)likhetens landskap, Malmö: Liber. PMCid:1317396
  • Rose, Tricia (1994): Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Hanover, N.H.: Wesleyan University Press.
  • Sernhede, Ove (2007): Alienation is my nation: hiphop och unga mäns utanförskap i det nya Sverige, Stockholm: Ordfront.
  • Sernhede, Ove & Johan Söderman (2010): Planet Hiphop: om hiphop som folkbildning och social mobilisering, Malmö: Liber.
  • Sernhede, Ove & Johan Söderman (2012): “Hip-Hop in Sweden: Folkbilning and a Voice for Marginalized Youth”, Bradley J. Porfilio & Michael J. Viola (eds): Hip-hop(e): The Cultural Practice and Critical Pedagogy of International Hip-hop, New York: Peter Lang.
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1981): “French Feminism in an International Frame”, Yale French Studies, 62, 154–184. DOI: 10.2307/2929898
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1988): “Can the Subaltern Speak?”, Cary Nelson & Lawrence Grossberg (eds): Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture , Houndmills: Macmillan Education.
  • Staunæs, Dorthe (2003): “Where have all the Subjects Gone? Bringing Together the Concepts of Intersectionality and Subjectification”, Nora – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 11:2, 101–110.
  • Stiernstedt, Jenny (2009): “Polis kallar ungdomar blatte och apa”, Dagens Nyheter, 5 February 2012: (accessed 1 October 2012).
  • Terkourafi, Marina (2010): The Languages of Global Hip-hop, London: Continuum.
  • Wacquant, Loïc J. D. (2008): Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality, Cambridge: Polity.
  • Walby, Sylvia, Jo Armstrong & Sofia Strid (2012): “Intersectionality: Multiple Inequalities in Social Theory”, Sociology, 46:2, 224–240. DOI: 10.1177/0038038511416164
  • Wetherell, Margaret & Nigel Edley (1999): “Negotiating Hegemonic Masculinity: Imaginary Positions and Psycho-discursive Practices”, Feminism & Psychology, 9:3, 335–356. DOI: 10.1177/0959353599009003012
  • Wright, Michelle M. (2004): Becoming Black: Creating Identity in the African Diaspora, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.
  • Yuval-Davis, Nira (2011): The Politics of Belonging: Intersectional Contestations, Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Discography

  • Adam Tensta (2007): It’s a Tensta Thing, K-Werks.
  • Advance Patrol (2003): Utskrivna, Playground.
  • Advance Patrol (2006): Aposteln, Playground.
  • Advance Patrol (2007): Enligt AP, Gonza Music.
  • Ayo (1999): Föder nåt nytt, BMG Sweden.
  • Crafoord. Schmidt & Talvik (2010): ”Flyter” (campaign song for Moderaterna).
  • Fjärde världen (2004): Gatumusikanterna, Devrim.
  • Infinite Mass (1995): The Infinite Patio, Rooftop.
  • Ison & Fille (2004): Ison & Fille, Hemmalaget.
  • Just D (1995): Plast, Telegram.
  • LoopTroop (2001): “Jag sköt Palme”, Jakten på underorden, StreetZone Records.
  • The Latin Kings (1994): Välkommen till förorten, Warner.
  • The Latin Kings (1997): I skuggan av betongen, Redline Records.
  • The Latin Kings (2000): Mitt kvarter, Redline Records.
  • Timbuktu (2003): The botten is nådd, Juju Records.
  • Volume 5, Theme:: Theme: Feminist Cultural Studies Edited by Fanny Ambjörnsson & Hillevi Ganetz

    , Article 14, 2013

    Kalle Berggren
    Degrees of Intersectionality: Male Rap Artists in Sweden Negotiating Class, Race and Gender:
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
  • Maria Eriksso & Anna Johansson (2017). Tracking Gendered Streams. Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, 9(2): 163. DOI: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1792163
  • Kalle Berggren (2014). Hip hop feminism in Sweden: Intersectionality, feminist critique and female masculinity. European Journal of Women's Studies, 21(3): 233. DOI: 10.1177/1350506813518761
  • Kalle Berggren (2014). Sticky Masculinity. Men and Masculinities, 17(3): 231. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X14539510

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text