Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Communication

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair

Lauren Lemley

Second Committee Member

Joe Cardot

Third Committee Member

Suzie Macaluso

Abstract

Typically, music videos fulfill an entertainment purpose, but this Master’s thesis is dedicated to a rhetorical analysis of two music videos that fulfill a greater purpose. I studied two music videos that break the music video genre mold because each one is centered on two societal issues that would be distressing to discuss in other contexts. The first artifact I studied is Eminem’s music video for “Stan,” which highlights the issue of idolization and fandom. The research question that guided this analysis is: How can a rhetor utilize music videos to illustrate the consequences of idolization and fandom? The second artifact I studied is Lindsay Lohan’s music video for “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father),” which highlights the issue of domestic abuse. The research question that guided my analysis is: How can a rhetor utilize music videos to illustrate the complexity of domestic abuse? Both artists used their personal experiences with the accompanying issue to craft their unique music video.

I used the fantasy theme framework to conduct my analysis over each artifact. In each analysis, I identified the fantasy theme elements (character theme, action theme, setting theme, and rhetorical vision) present in the music video, and then provided specific examples of each element that help support the proposed research question. By utilizing their experiences as the driving force for their music videos, the two artists help make sense of their experiences. Thus, the music videos serve as a form of catharsis for each artist. Furthermore, by openly communicating about these issues, the artists inspire others who may find themselves in similar situations to not be fearful of associated stigmas. The two music videos fulfill purposes greater than entertainment, thus making them worthy of further study.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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