Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gender, hegemony, and country music
by Richards, Ashley R., M.A., Gonzaga University, 2012, 55; 1531384
Abstract (Summary)

Since its inception, country music has proven to be a powerful medium of communication and expression in contemporary culture. Reining as the most popular musical format in radio today, the themes expressed by contemporary country musicians, particularly female country musicians, are diverse and varied, proving the importance of evolution in this once considered homogeneous format. This study explores how modern female country musicians use their lyrics as tools for highlighting dominant, hegemonic gender roles in culture. Guided by Stuart Hall's encoding and decoding theory (1980) and feminist communication theory (Rakow & Wackwitz, 2004) this study utilizes Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine two hit songs from current female country megastars - Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" and Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead". This study finds that while both artists use their lyrical discourse as a means to challenge dominant feminine gender roles, they are simultaneously reinforcing dominant, and often negative, masculine gender roles. Further research on this subject needs to be conducted in order to conclude the overall effectiveness of popular musicians using the feminist communication theory of voice in their lyrics to combat hegemony.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crandall, Heather M., Dare, Alexa
School: Gonzaga University
Department: Communication and Leadership
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Communication, Gender studies
Keywords: Country music, Critical discourse analysis, Cultural studies, Gender, Hegemony
Publication Number: 1531384
ISBN: 9781267834850
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