Though the idea of resilience is often presented as a progressive solution to gender, race, and class-based inequalities, the labour of resilience follows a traditionally patriarchal division of labour, which makes women and other non-cis-men responsible for fixing both themselves and systemic social problems like sexism. Resilience is a quintessentially neoliberal technology that uses logics of investment and purported inclusion to upgrade and intensify white supremacist capitalist patriarchy to work more efficiently in the early 21st century. I use Rebecca Lentjes’ concept of “sonic patriarchy” to explain how this happens in 21st century popular music, and then identify several musicians’ "melancholic" alternatives to resilience.
Robin James is Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte and co-editor of The Journal of Popular Music Studies.
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