The Relationship between Disco Genre Relates and the Issues of Race,


TheRelationship between Disco Genre Relates and the Issues of Race,Class, Gender,Sexuality,or other Definers of Identity

Thedisco style became so popular from mid-1970s to early 1980s. Discogained popularity during this period because it was used as a meansof cultural expression of gender and sexuality (Johnson, 2012). Discogenre brought about many social changes that redefined the AmericanSociety. Disco type is linked to social movements such as sexualrevolution, feminism, gay liberation and the black American socialidentity. The paper aims to analyze the relationship between discogenre and definers of identity such as sexuality, class, and genderamong others.

Thesisstatement: Discogenre played a significant role in redefining feminism andmasculinity, social class, racial segregation and liberation of thegay community.

Discopopularity originated from underground activities that took place inhouse parties and exclusive clubs. According to Jones and Bego(2009), back in the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of the disco musicfans were the gay and minority communities. Disc Jockeys (DJs) mixeda variety of danceable disco music, which attracted the AfricanAmerican communities to their clubs. Clubs that embraced disco musicserved as a meeting point where the African American communitiesexpressed their culture and hatred towards the whites. The gaycommunity loved disco music since it gave them the hope of liberationfrom labeling and stigmatization in the society (Jones and Bego,2009).

Throughdisco genres such as music and dancing styles, men and women got achance to express their abilities in femininity and masculinity(Lawrence, 2011). Back in the 1970s, sexual liberation movements hadsignificantly impacted on feminine figures especially in the musicindustry. Therefore, disco theatres and clubs offered a forum inwhich women would show their feminine qualities. Through the discotheatres, women celebrity figures got a chance to exercise feminineabilities. At the same time, men got the opportunity to express themasculine traits. For most women, the disco genre offered a moreassertive expression of sexuality than the pop or rock that haddominated the music arena (Johnson, 2012). However, the sexualityaspect of the disco genre exposed women to a higher risk of beingtreated as sex objects by men. Many women famous in disco theatreshad to fight to maintain their image without being subjected tosexual objecthood. For instance, famous female figures in disco musicsuch as Gloria Gaynor and Sister Sledge presented sexual qualities offeminism within an industry dominated by masculinity. They proved towomen that they can explore sexual freedom and at the same retainrespect and self-image.

Discogenre played a significant role in defining social class. Accordingto Johnson(2012), disco theatres and clubs acted as social forums for the blackcommunity, who belonged to the lower class in the society. The discogenre was characterized by African American language and dancingstyles. Back in the 1970s, there was a clear separation between thewhite race and other races in the society, especially in America. Disco genre widened the gap between the white and black. Disco genresuch as movies, music and dancing were used by the Black community toexpress their hatred towards the whites.


Thereis a strong relationship between disco genre and issues of race,sexuality, class and gender. Disco theatres and clubs acted as socialmeeting places where the black community expressed their opinions andhatred towards the white. The disco arena gave women sexual freedombut exposed them to higher risks of being treated as sex objects. Thegay community embraced disco genre because it offered them the hopeof getting liberated from labeling and stigmatization in the society.In conclusion, it can be argued that the disco arena brought aboutsignificant changes that completely transformed the society in allsocial aspects.


Johnson,E. D. (2012). Crossovernarratives: intersections of race, genre and authenticity in unpopular popular music.

Jones,R., &amp Bego, M. (2009).&nbspMachoMan: The Disco Era and Gay America`s&quot coming Out&quot. ABC-CLIO.

Lawrence,T. (2011). Disco and the Queering of the Dance Floor.&nbspCulturalStudies,&nbsp25(2), 230-243.