Brand new research paper invites victims of harassment in the music industry to tell their stories
Words: Julie Kerr
“The music business is wonderful and amazing and yet somehow still functions like the wild west. After 30 years of involvement in the industry, I felt like I just had to do something.”
Jeff Crabtree is a musician, public speaker, author and academic. After a long and successful career working in music, Crabtree is undertaking new research to tackle harassment in the music industry.
He came up with the idea some eighteen months ago - before the#metoo movement sparked worldwide interest in the abuse of women who work.
“I had no idea this issue was going to hit the front pages when I started this research,” Crabtree remarked. “Sometimes events seem to conspire for the common good.”
Crabtree pitched the idea of researching this issue to Professor Mark Evans, Head of the School of Communication at UTS towards the end of 2016. Approval followed rapidly and this study is now a part of Crabtree’s PhD, supervised by Evans.
Crabtree is looking for participants from the popular music industries of Australia and New Zealand who are willing to confidentially and anonymously tell their stories of workplace harassment.
Despite the recent publicity, these findings will be the first independent academic research project that examines this problem. Crabtree says that the aim of this research is to discover the detail and extent of what’s going on and to provide the credible basis for informed decision making and policy making.
It is one thing to bring awareness, it is another thing to take actions that result in meaningful change, and Crabtree says, “We are careful to protect everyone who participates. We make it impossible for anyone to trace back and identify who said what. What people have experienced is hurtful and distressing, so they need safety to do that, but getting this stuff on the record is what we all need to make real change. Governments have to act on hard scientific data.”
Music Industry Harassment Research is open to any Australian or New Zealand citizen, (or permanent resident) who works in the music industry.
To find out more or to participate in this study, visit www.musicharassmentresearch.org for the convenient and confidential online survey as well as to register for a confidential interview that will help build an in-depth picture of how things are. Participation is entirely voluntary.
This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.