MTV and The Madonna Phenomenon

This essay MTV and The Madonna Phenomenon has a total of 2035 words and 9 pages.

MTV and The Madonna Phenomenon


"Madonna\'s intuitive grasp on the televisual world in which we live- of
the medium\'s possibilities for engaging spectators in diverse ways- that in part
accounts for her success. She is the supreme television heroine." (E. Ann Kaplan
271)

"What are the main theories which we have studied so far and how have
they affected how you view television?"-This is the question which this paper
is supposed to answer. Obviously there is not enough time or space in which to
discuss every theory which we have touched on. As a compromise I decided to
write about a topic to which almost every theory that we have discussed can be
applied: MTV and the “Madonna Phenomenon”.

As E. Ann Kaplan stated in her article on feminist criticism, Madonna is
truly the ultimate television heroine. A discussion on contemporary popular
culture and especially on media culture could never be complete without bringing
up Madonna. She can be discussed in terms of feminism, ideology, hegemony and
commercialism as seen in both Kaplan\'s as well as in John Fiske\'s article on
British Cultural Studies.

In order to properly explain how the “Madonna Phenomenon” has become
such an important concept in media studies, one must look first at how
influential MTV (music television) has become in the last decade. MTV addresses
the “desires, fantasies, and anxieties” of young people(Kaplan 270) who have,
like myself, grown up in a decade when all the traditional institutions and
theories that were always respected, are being questioned. It has become the
center of discussions of many young people who have grown up idolizing the
figures shown on the network. MTV is a culture in itself. With it\'s own news,
fashion and music programs it can easily be the considered the basis for the
formation of thought of an entire generation.

The images depicted in music videos, of androgynous stars and situations
have aided in rendering the clear line between the genders rather blurry. This
makes MTV an important aspect in the study of post-modern theories. Videos are
often quite abstract and it is hard to figure out their true meanings. Unlike
other television programming, videos are usually not made up of clear parts or
scenes which produce an easily identifiable and readable image. It is often hard
to tell, for example whether a music video is sexist or whether it is simply
making a parody of earlier, sexist, Hollywood produ

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