The Carter Family And Hazel & Alice: A Comparison Of Musical Influences And Changing Gender Norms

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laiken Boyd (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Dave Wood

Abstract: This thesis explores, in detail, the lives and musical careers of The Carter Family (A.P., Sara, and Maybelle) in comparison with those of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. These are two trailblazing musical groups of the country and bluegrass music industries. This thesis discusses the effect of these women’s accomplishments on the country music and bluegrass industries when taking into consideration the obstacles society presented them with in the form of gender norms. Using the social constructs of gender norms during the 1920s-1970s as a lens for discussing some of the obstacles these women faced in their careers (e.g., restrictions/hindrance). This work will attempt to address what the gender norms of the time period were, if the fact that they were women presented any significant obstacles for their careers, and why these women received the recognition that they did. This work will highlight the significance of these women’s musical accomplishments (e.g., recording, solo-performances, widespread popularity) in a time when women were generally not in the foreground of the bluegrass and country music industries.

Additional Information

Boyd, L. (2016). "The Carter Family and Hazel & Alice: A Comparison of Musical Influences and Changing Gender Norms." Unpublished Master's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2016
The Carter Family, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, Women’s Roles in Country Music and Society, Changing Gender Norms in Country and Bluegrass Music

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