Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Kembrew McLeod


The purpose of this project is to understand how it is that women become electronic/dance music (E/DM) DJs and intervene in the dominant discourses and practices of cultural production in E/DM and DJ culture. The three main areas I address are: the impact of the socialization of gender and technology relations, the various ways that women use the Internet to access knowledge and create supportive communities, and finally, the hegemonic representation of women in dominant E/DM culture and how this representation has led to women creating their own communities of practice.

I take a cultural studies approach to understanding the communicative strategies women adopt to become DJs. Adopting this methodology requires an examination of the relationships between people, places, practices, and texts. Such an interdisciplinary approach also necessitates drawing on literature from various "studies" areas, including cultural studies, popular music, women's studies, technology, and cyber culture studies. The result is a group of interconnected case studies linked by the ways that each of them addresses distinct aspects related to my central question of how women become DJs.

It is clear from my research that the increased integration of women in E/DM is the result of women building face-to-face social networks and creating their own communitiesboth on and offline. In the spirit of the Women's Music movement that started in the 1970s and Riot Grrrl culture in the early 1990s, women in E/DM are increasingly taking on the roles of bookings agents, event planners and promoters, website developers, listserv managers, DJs, producers, and record label owners. Online forums are used to organize offline events like monthly potlucks and public performances, in addition to providing spaces where women can ask questions or share knowledge about all things DJ related.

Overall, this project highlights the ways that cultural assumptions, discursive and material practices affect the roles that men and women adopt in E/DM culture.


gender and technology, popular music, women, Internet, electronic/dance music, subcultures


2, xi, 228 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-228).


Copyright 2004 Rebekah L Farrugia

Included in

Communication Commons