Music Videos and Pop Music

Authored by: Rebecca Hutton , Emma Whatman

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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Like oral, written, or filmic narratives, music videos form part of the ubiquitous and constantly evolving corpus of fairy-tale texts. Fairy-tale music videos constitute media conduits through which adaptations evidence shifting social, cultural, and political landscapes of the times and places in which they are produced. These texts are also complicated by competing aesthetic and consumerist values, intensifying the complex matrix of significations and consequent ideologies that exist within, and are disseminated through, contemporary fairy-tale music videos. This chapter analyzes a selection of fairy-tale music videos to demonstrate the capacity of these texts to reinforce or resist societal norms regarding gender and sexuality. Many, although not all, of the fairy-tale music videos we discuss are underpinned by predominantly patriarchal and heteronormative values that often run counter to the overt ideological impetus of the lyrical and/or visual components. However, while the implementation of fairy tales in music videos cannot be easily separated from consumerist agendas, fairy-tale intertexts still offer sites through which resistance to, or subversion of, normativity can be enacted through this consumer framework; namely, by disseminating counterhegemonic adaptations through a medium that is designed for mass and repeated consumption.

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