NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED371417
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Mar-8
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Madonna: Like a Dichotomy.
Burns, Gary; Kizer, Elizabeth
Students in communication classes find it useful to study Madonna because she is a fascinating and prolific cultural figure whose merit and intentions are matters of great controversy. As the quintessential music-video star, she is also perhaps the medium's most significant auteur. In the areas of women's roles, motherhood, sexuality, race and religion, Madonna critiques and challenges widespread beliefs while at the same time reinforcing some of them. In her video "Like a Virgin," Madonna carries her trashiness to an extreme as she both mocks what the female is "supposed to do" as a bride and seductress and at the same time usurps the aggressiveness that is "supposed to" be the male's prerogative. She is in a sense, both male and female. According to Rosemary Kowalski, Madonna has provided a useful corrective to the feminism of the 1970s in her suggestion that it is all right for women to dress like women. In almost every video, there is at least one sequence in which Madonna writhes on the floor or ground, crawling, or assuming an otherwise prone position. Further, in the area of race, Madonna, unlike other rock stars, makes her interracial themes so explicit that the viewer cannot overlook them. This forces the viewer to accept or reject her images--although because of her radical critique of religion, viewers may reject them on the grounds of "blasphemy" when in fact they may be responding to her portrayal of African-Americans. (Contains 19 notes.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A