University of New Hampshire
Sociology and Women's Studies
Mentor: Dr. Catherine Moran , Department of Sociology
Examining the Gendered Experiences, Political Identities, And Artistic Intentions of Women Graffiti and Street Artists
Sociological research has yet to deeply explore the challenges women graffiti and street artists face due to their gender and other politicized identities. Politicized identities are thought of as identities formed self-consciously and involve a group’s position in hegemonic cultural power dynamics. This will include an analysis of the ways gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other identities intersect and affect the experience women have in the graffiti and street art world. I hypothesize that these identities also inform the art that women create (See Appendix I-III). Through semi-structured interviews and observations with women graffiti and street artists who come from a variety of perspectives and identities, I will connect these identities with women’s experiences in the street art subculture. I will conduct these interviews using face-to-face, using online meeting services, and phone calls. I will also conduct short field research in the Boston Metropolitan Area to gain an inside look at the culture first-hand. I hypothesize that these politicized identities impact the way women are treated within the graffiti and street art subcultures, and the political ideologies and subjects they choose to display. Street art and graffiti are highly informed and interpreted through political, gendered, and economic contexts of the artist. This may cause women to feel an artistic responsibility to use their voices to be political and challenge oppressive forces. Since idealized masculinity is a norm of graffiti and street art subculture, women’s response to this may be to try to take on more masculine qualities in their practice and their art, or take on the opposite approach and challenge these norms by becoming outwardly feminine in expression. This proposal will discuss gaps in literature and importance of understanding women’s point of view in a masculine subculture and how their politicized identities contribute to their artistic intentionality and ideologies.