Charting Gender: The Success of Female Acts in the U.S. Mainstream Recording Market, 1940–1990

Transformation in Cultural Industries

ISBN: 978-0-76231-240-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-365-5

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 17 December 2005


Research on creative workers speaks to the relative lack of job opportunities available, the role that changing production logics play in shaping such opportunities, and gender disparities in success. Tracking 22,561 hits found on Billboard's mainstream charts, we examine various factors that may spur or hamper the success of female recording acts. We find that the expanding logic of decentralized production eliminates the negative effect of concentration on the success of female acts and that the presence of successful female acts in one period bodes well for subsequent female acts, until a glass ceiling of sorts is reached.


Dowd, T., Liddle, K. and Maureen Blyler†, M. (2005), "Charting Gender: The Success of Female Acts in the U.S. Mainstream Recording Market, 1940–1990", Jones, C. and Thornton, P. (Ed.) Transformation in Cultural Industries (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 81-123.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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