Aisha DurhamHome With Hip Hop Feminism: Performances in Communication and Culture

Peter Lang, 2014

by Richard Schur on January 18, 2016

Aisha Durham

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Is hip hop defined by its artists or by its audience? In Home With Hip Hop Feminism: Performances in Communication and Culture (Peter Lang, 2014) Aisha Durham returns hip hop scholarship to its roots by engaging in an ethnographic and auto-ethnographic approach to studying hip hop. Rooting her study in the Diggs Park Public Housing Project in Norfolk, Virginia, Durham examines what hip hop means to ordinary and everyday women who see themselves as hip hop, equals to the rappers and other artists who receive greater recognition and scholarly attention.

By focusing on gender and social class, Durham explores the sexual scripts that women find and negotiate within hip hop and how hip hop continually navigates socio-economic boundaries. She also considers how the very act of studying and writing about hip hop can turn a hip hop "insider" into an outsider. The book spends considerable attention looking at Queen Latifah and Beyoncé as key figures who both reinforce and interrogate dominant representations of African American women.

Aisha Durham is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of South Florida. Her research about Black popular culture explores the relationship between media representations and everyday life. She examines how controlling images or power-laden stereotypes are produced by media makers and interpreted by media audiences to make sense of blackness in the "post" era. She is co-editor of Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology (2007) and Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, and Policy (2007).

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