Approaching the music video medium, this interdisciplinary study sets out to investigate how gender affects popular culture and its expressions. By looking at a selection of videos that challenges the aesthetics of mainstream pop, my study revolves around three overarching research questions:
1) How does gender and subjectivity function within pop videos, and what does this tell us about the current state of affairs?2)In which ways can we apply musicological theory and method in an interdisciplinary way to carry out such an investigation?3)What do music videos at the start of the 21st century tell us about the construction of gender in relationship to mainstream pop aesthetics?
Alongside these investigations, I explore the idea of social change at the turn of the century - noting how the conventional ideas of gender definitions and expectations have become blurred in a postmodern society, and that the music video - that through music, image and lyrics indefatigably projects articulations of gender and identity - is a most accurate mirror for unveiling social and political structures.
Drawing on theories from popular music studies, popular musicology, gender studies, queer theory, and media studies, my aim in this thesis has been to inspire for new perspectives on the representation politics of pop videos.
The videos discussed are: "Criminal" by Fiona Apple, "Video Phone" by Beyoncé feat. Lady Gaga, "Buttons" by Sia, "Do you want the truth or something beautiful" by Paloma faith, "Fearless" by Bermuda Triangle, and lastly "Sick" by Sneaker Pimps