Discourses of (hetero)sexism in popular music
The legacy of Blurred Lines
This article analyses interview data to explore how participants negotiated discourses of (hetero)sexism in relation to the controversial pop song Blurred Lines. Our previous work, based on questionnaire data, interrogated interpretations of Blurred Lines (Handforth, Paterson, Coffey-Glover & Mills 2017) and showed how participants drew on discourses of sexism in their responses. Several participants experienced significant conflict in their interpretations, and here we focus on these more complex interpretations, considering the “small stories” (Bamberg & Georgakopoulou 2008) identified in follow-up interviews with participants. Individual narratives acted as mechanisms through which participants linked Blurred Lines to wider issues such as rape culture, drawing parallels between these and their own lives. Following research in queer linguistics (King 2014; Leap 2014; Motschenbacher 2010) our use of thematic analysis, corpus linguistic tools and narrative analysis highlights the various subject positions that participants negotiated in their storytelling, and how these positions both echoed and challenged normative understandings of gender and sexuality.
Keywords: heterosexism, popular music, queer linguistics, discourses of sexism, corpus linguistics, narrative analysis
Published online: 20 August 2019
Baker, Paul, Gabrielatos, Costas, KhosraviNik, Majid, Krzyżanowski, Michał, McEnery, Tony & Wodak, Ruth
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2013 Blurred Lines’ director Diane Martel defends music video against claims of misogyny. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/blurred-lines-director-diane-martel_n_3509359.html (November 19 2016)
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