Author

Wilson

Date of Award

4-1992

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Markle

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Wait

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This study analyzed 30 of the most popular rock music videos aired on Music Television Network in the summer of 1991. Using a qualitative content analysis, six prominent themes in these videos were identified: (1) eroticism, (2) female gender roles, (3) Americana, (4) violence, (5) religious symbols, and (6) clothing fetishism. From these themes, five values were discerned in the videos: (1) carpe diem, (2) individual freedom, (3) nihilistic religiosity, (4) nationalism, and (5) consumerism. It was found that these values constituted an ideology in music videos which in some ways reflects dominant American ideology. Their focus on appearance, their use of a variety of Christian religious symbols, and their theme of Americana--both utopian and imperial--reflect dominant ideology. By contrast, the varieties of sexual and erotic behaviors--sometimes ambiguous, sometimes non-normative, the pagan imagery, the surrealism, and the espousal of individual freedom without responsibility, clash with dominant ideology. It was concluded that these rock music videos espouse an alter-ideology--that is, an ideology which is not truly a counter-ideology nor wholly consistent with dominant American ideology.

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