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Thursday, October 27 • 4:30pm - 4:45pm
The social climate of the East-Asian recording studios

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Using the survey material of Brooks et al. [1] that drew upon Yang and Caroll’s microaggression study in STEM academia [2], we captured the experiences of discrimination and the working conditions of 41 sound engineers, music producers, and studio assistants from 3 Eastern Asian countries, i.e., 34 in China, 1 in Japan, and 6 in South Korea. Although it was reported that there are twice as many men as women in the Chinese music industry [3] and that women in the Korean music industry are less likely to have the agency of making decisions than men [4], there have been very few research studies conducted on gender inequalities in audio in East Asia.Our research hopes to fill up the void in this region.
So far, we have collected data from 20 cisgender men, 19 cisgender women, and 2 non-binary studio professionals. Twenty-two are current residents in China, 8 in South Korea, 10 in the UK, and 1 in the USA. Cisgender men make an average income of 142 USD/day (+64 USD/day compared to the global survey [1]), while cisgender women make an average of 88.56 USD/day (+ 31 USD/day) and non-binary people make an average of 43 USD/day (-26 USD/day). Thirty-four participants have never been a member of AES. Only 1 current AES member living in China is aware of the AES ED&I committee. Our statistical analyses showed gender to be the strongest predictor of specific experiences of discrimination in the recording studio. For instance, cisgender women are 2 times more likely to experience microaggressions for assumptions of beauty and sexual objectification (p<e-1, large effect size) and gendered workplace microaggressions (p<e-1, large effect size) than cisgender men. While comparing our findings with those obtained by Brooks et al.[1] and Yang and Carroll[2], we found that cisgender women are more likely to report having experience of being silenced and marginalized.
In terms of the qualitative section, we applied grounded theory[5] to conduct inductive coding of the responses of open questions. Our analyses showed that the public has insufficient knowledge of the role and contributions of production team members in the East-Asian music industry. Also, the informal and discriminative workplace that the recording studio represents prohibits contributors from getting credits. While music producers, sound engineers, and studio assistants in East-Asia are currently facing abusive working conditions regardless of social identity; our data demonstrates that gender is the most significant factor leading to the microaggressions, followed by age, seniority, and music genre, e.g., classical music professionals look down on electronic music professionals for not being scholarly trained.

avatar for Ziqin Yang

Ziqin Yang

MA in Music Production, University of York
Artist music producer.Interested in indie, pop, R&B, folk, and film scoring.cynthiayzq@163.com

Thursday October 27, 2022 4:30pm - 4:45pm EDT
Online Papers
  Psychoacoustics and Perception
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