Patriarchy and discipline in the songs of Stavros Kougioumtzes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In this paper I am looking at how gender and romantic relationships are represented in the lyrics of one of the most prolific Greek popular/folk songwriters, Stavros Kougioumtzes. I built upon work done in the sociology of culture that looks into representations of women in popular song (Bloomfield, 1993; Bretthauer et al., 2007; Cooper, 1985; Denisoff and Bridges, 1983; Freudiger, 1978; Wilkinson, 1976). This literature explores how popular music in patriarchal societies serves as a tool for the subordination of women. My analysis focuses on the song “Your colourful eyes” (Τα πολύχρωμά σου μάτια) from his 1986 album Lunatics and angels (Τρελοί και άγγελοι) which I argue that it stands out among his lyrical works. I suggest that Pierre Bourdieu's (1977) ideas are valuable in assessing how the logic that underlies this cultural text – a logic that construes women's behaviour as a determinant of masculine honour – might become embodied and shape people's attitude towards the organisation of gender relationships. I further argue that this logic aims at modifying the female body – through the imposition of a specific bodily regime – with the aim of subjugating it (Foucault, 1971; 1981). The implications of this disciplinary regime on women include the exclusion of women from contributing to discourses on desire and their exclusion from using the gaze as a tool for the demythologisation of men (Mulvey, 1992).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015
Event2nd NGENDER Conference, Sussex University -
Duration: 19 May 201519 May 2015


Conference2nd NGENDER Conference, Sussex University


  • Greece
  • Masculinity
  • Discipline
  • Women
  • Popular Music

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    Zenerian, E. (2015). Patriarchy and discipline in the songs of Stavros Kougioumtzes. Abstract from 2nd NGENDER Conference, Sussex University, .