Rednecks, Rig Pigs, and Cowboys: Rural Masculinity in Albertan Country Music

  • Brenna Ward University of Alberta


In this essay I argue that Albertan country music and its imageryworks to perpetuate and reinforce the category of rural masculinity.My argument is premised first of all on my exploration of the uniqueintersections that have established the rural way of life in Albertaas inherently masculine, and has gendered the spaces within itsimagined boundaries as inherently masculine. I establish this byexploring the narration of Alberta’s frontier and cowboy mythology inrelation to the emergent gendered implications for industry and rurallife. Using Judith Butler’s gender theory of performativity, I arguethat rural masculinity exists as a category that is constituted by theextended corporeal performances of Albertans. I engage with adiscussion of semiotics to sustain my argument that country music andits imagery uphold the category of rural masculinity as well as a formof working class art. I use Albertan country music artist Corb Lund asa case study to demonstrate the mechanics of my argument.

Author Biography

Brenna Ward, University of Alberta
Faculty of Arts Women's Studies (Hon)4th Year