With Careful Textual Analysis of Any One Media Text (for Example Television Advertising, Fashion on Film, Music Videos Etcetera…) Explore the Relationship Between Fashion and Mass Media

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  • Topic: Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., Mass media
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  • Published : February 6, 2007
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"With careful textual analysis of any one media text (for example television advertising, fashion on film, music videos etcetera…) explore the relationship between fashion and mass media"

The mass media can be described as a form of communication designed to reach a vast audience without any personal contact between the senders and receivers. This includes several institutions, including books, magazines, adverts, newspapers, radio, television, cinema, and videos that occupy a central and essential role in our lives. I will specifically be exploring and discussing the relationship between fashion and the music video. Both are considered to have a symbiotic relationship; where one cannot operate without the other; I am looking to investigate the to what extent this statement is true; I want to investigate whether the contemporary music video has become an advertisement for empty capitalist ideologies.

The mass media can also be referred to as a 20th century "Pop Culture"; it shares the same origins, including popular music, film, television, radio, video game, book and comic book publishing industries. Modern urban mass societies have been heavily influenced by the introduction of new technologies of sound and image broadcasting, and the growth of mass media industries, especially the film and television industry, which are reliant on interaction (in order to make money, and maintain capitalism) between those industries that promote, and those, that consume their products.

Dave Harker (1992) points out that that the 1960s was a period heavily influenced and dominated by rock music in particular; this was the earliest example of popular music taking form, for example it became popular radio play, record releases and sales were at their highest during this particular period, and rock was being rotated over a range of media including films and theatrical theatre shows such as Sound Of Music. Twenty years later pop rock music was arguably at it's most influential. With the rise of modern technology, the music video had been introduced. Pop and rock music was regared as an aspect of "promotional culture" (Wernick 1991) where basic principles of the advertising and selling of goods such as soap powder were applied to other other spheres such as politics and university life, and then the music industry. Pop and rock were heavily promoted forms; music was promoted and analysed in the print media such as music newspapers and magazines. Eventually music was then promoted through the use of the music video. The music video is a short film used to present a visual representation of a popular music song. During the 1980s, with the introduction of American cable television channel MTV ("Music Television" launched in 1981) it was heavily used as a marketing device to increase sales of recordings, aimed at adolescents and young adults. E. Ann Kaplan (1987) makes a crucial point about the transformation of the music video. She argues the traditional linear progression of a narrative in relation to the song had been abandoned. Music videos were all now based on the selling and reinforcement of the dominant culture's capitalist ideologies; right-winged ideas on a range of topics. Analysing videos shown on rotation on MTV – Kaplan found that most were reliant on repetition; all videos loosely covered the same themes of romance, love and loss – where the female body was used as a sign of oppression. And the male body was used as a sign of high power and dominance. Laura Mulvey's (Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, 1975) feminist film criticism of women in traditional Hollywood film reinforces the previous statement made by Kaplan. Mulvey reveals that women in Hollywood during the 1950s were objectified; the cinema was a highly gendered misogynist genre. She argued that women took on the "male gaze"; they were eroticised for the sole pleasure and catering of men. Mulvey's statement can be applied to the contemporary music...
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