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Vocal Performances in American Stand-Up Comedy

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kandae
Words 2318
Pages 10
Ekke Kanda
English 112 Vocal Performances in American Stand-Up Comedy
In “Sounding Gendered: Vocal Performances”, Tom Delph-Janiurek argues that peoples voices are mediated by discourse (Giltrow 277). He explains that voices are interpreted through attribution to recognizable performances of roles and gendered and sexualized performances (Giltrow 276). According to Delph-Janiurek, voices are limited within the confines of certain societal hegemonic norms. He explains that the relationship between voices and bodies is not necessarily physiological; voices are vocal “performances”. There exists a pre-established gender duality within society, in which masculinity and the “male” voice is associated with the male body, and femininity and the “female” voice is associated with the female body. Thus, what is considered to be a “natural” voice is merely a choice made by an individual as to which of the two sides of duality they identify with more (Gamson).
This choice is a representation of a gendered and sexualized identity that is influenced by discourse. Gender norms dictate that males identify with the more masculine voice, with a lower pitch and only slight increases in intonation. The stereotypical female voice, on the other hand, is more high pitched, with more variation in intonation (Bonds-Raacke). With this in consideration, Delph Janiurek’s thesis is that voices have a “geography”, and that they can be authored in a certain way within certain societal “spaces” (Giltrow 276). In other words, certain situations demand misperformance of hegemonic gender roles in the form of voice alteration. Delph-Janiurek’s argument is limited in the sense that it does not conduct enough research into different types of social roles in order to properly consider the effectiveness of vocal performance within them. Different geographical spaces have different expectations…...

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