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A gender analysis of music videos on MTV Base Africa.

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The purpose of this research is to explore gender representation in music videos on MTV Base Africa. The study attempts to determine if dominant hegemonic portrayals exist or whether space is made for alternative gender portrayals. The research involved observing and analysing a range and recurrence of masculine and feminine constructions. A random sample of 20 local and international music videos broadcast between January and May 2009 formed the basis of the analysis. A qualitative research design was used and data collected through a focus group method and semiotic analysis of music videos. The focus group sample was representative of selected groups in KwaZulu-Natal (Bluff and Westville). The results show that contesting discourses of power relations (race, class and gender) are in play. It appears that both counter hegemonic and hegemonic gender representations were present within the sample of music videos. The study demonstrates that competing gender discourses, including subordinate, ambiguous, high-class, low-class, middle-class, hegemonic and counter-hegemonic femininities and masculinities are operative. The conclusion reached is that contending gender constructions are present in music videos on MTV BASE Africa.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2011.


Theses--Culture, communication and media studies., Gender identity on television., Music videos--Social aspects--South Africa.