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The Portrayal of Masculinity in Dholuo Ohangla Music

Quin Awuor Orwa
Anudo N. Cellyne N. Cellyne


Discrimination of either gender is both a linguistic and a social issue. The Luo culture is built on patriarchy and the socialization of the children (male and female) play a critical role in the way they relate to each other. This is because from the onset the girl child internalizes her subordinate status while the male child upholds his dominant status. While the society portrays women as dependent, lazy and child like in nature, the men are portrayed as independent, aggressive and domineering. Thus positive connotations are used to refer to men while negative ones are used to refer to women. It’s on this premise that the paper investigates the portrayal of males in Ohangla, a genre of music where gender stereotypes are rampant. The data utilized was in the form of words and expressions downloaded from You Tube. Purposive sampling was used to get a sample of ten Ohangla songs sung by male and female artists in order to obtain data that was representative. This data was then grouped using the thematic classification borrowed from Weitzer & Kubrin (2009) but was tailored to fit the males who were the subject of discussion in this study. After grouping, it was transcribed and then translated into English, which is the language of study. The songs were finally subjected to analysis based on the tenets of the CDA theory discussed in the theoretical review.

Keywords: dhluo, ohangla, masculinity, Kenya, music

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eISSN: 1998-1279