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Redistributing the means of vocal production: Voice training as a tool of political intervention

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In this article, I explore the political and sociological potential of the practice of voice training, arguing that the training is an opportunity to redistribute vocal practices to groups of people for whom political voice is often denied. By drawing together Bourdieu’s concept of ‘habitus’ with the practice of Patsy Rodenburg and Kristin Linklater, I discuss whether training is one means through which participants can identify the ways in which the social and cultural have ‘marked’ their voice and, furthermore, whether training can provide a strategy to counteract and resist these marks, particularly in the female voice. I examine these questions through my own practice; through a series of voice projects I undertook with groups of young women across the north of England, I explored the connection between engaging in voice training and the young women’s own conception of their political voice.
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Keywords: habitus; political engagement; political voice; voice; voice training; young women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leeds

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • JIVS provides a forum for scholarly and practice-based engagement with voice as a phenomenon of communication and performance, and a methodology or metaphor for analysis. This peer-reviewed journal draws on an interdisciplinary series of lenses, including cultural studies, critical theory, performance studies, inter-culturalism, linguistics, visual culture, musicology, architecture and somatics.
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