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
Baker, Paul & Levon, Erez
Bamberg, Michael & Georgakopoulou, Alexandra
Baxter, Judith A.
Beal, Joan C.
Braun, Virginia & Clarke, Victoria
Brinkley, Elly[ p. 162 ]
2013 Is Blurred Lines a ‘rapey’ song? The Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/08/08/is-blurred-lines-a-rapey-song/ (September 25 2016)
Bucholtz, Mary & Hall, Kira
Burgess, Melinda C. R. & Burpo, Sandra
Cobb, Michael D. & Boettcher, William A.
Eckert, Penelope & McConnell-Ginet, Sally
Edley, Nigel & Wetherell, Margaret
Edwards, Derek & Middleton, David
Findlay, Jamie Y.
Handforth, Rachel, Paterson, Laura, Coffey-Glover, Laura & Mills, Sara
Jansen, Lisa & Westphal, Michael
Kilgarriff, Aadam, Baisa, Vít, Bušta, Jan, Jakubíček, Miloš, Kovář, Vojtěch, Michelfeit, Jan, Rychlý, Pavel & Suchomel, Vit[ p. 163 ]
King, Brian W.
2013 From the mouths of rapists: The lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines . The Society Pages. http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/09/17/from-the-mouths-of-rapists-the-lyrics-of-robin-thickes-blurred-lines-and-real-life-rape/ (September 9 2016)
Labov, William & Waletzky, Joshua
2013 “ Blurred Lines” is cocky, yes. But rapey? No. Slate . www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/27/robin_thicke_s_blurred_lines_is_cocky_yes_but_rapey_and_misogynistic_no.html (November 19 2016)
Leap, William L.
Love, Robbie & Baker, Paul
2013 Blurred Lines: The most controversial song of the decade. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/nov/13/blurred-lines-most-controversial-song-decade (September 25 2016)
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)
McEnery, Tony & Hardie, Andrew
[ p. 164 ]
2014 ‘No, “female appreciation” is not the same thing as feminism. Feminist Current. http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/02/27/no-pharrell-williams-female-appreciation-is-not-the-same-thing-as-feminism/ (September 25 2016)
Potter, Jonathan & Wetherell, Margaret
2013 “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke’s summer anthem, is kind of rapey. The Daily Beast. www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/17/blurred-lines-robin-thicke-s-summer-anthem-is-kind-of-rapey.html (September 9 2016)
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 22 may 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.