Presentation on theme: "MEP315 SPORT, MEDIA AND CELEBRITY 10. CASE STUDY 4: MADONNA."— Presentation transcript:
MEP315 SPORT, MEDIA AND CELEBRITY 10. CASE STUDY 4: MADONNA
Questions to address How has Madonnas unprecedented longevity as a female singer and actor been achieved? Is Madonna a feminist, and if so, what kind of feminism has she tended to uphold? In what ways has she deconstructed stereotypes about herself and women more generally? In the light of above questions, is Madonna a postmodern star?
Madonna as open text – unpredictable, fluid (Fiske 1989) Madonna symbolically plays with traditional stereotypes of women – virgin and whore – in order to subtly subvert patriarchal meanings She challenges fans to reinvent their sexual identities like she is able to do on screen Her chameleon image destablises dominant representations of gender and sexuality Madonna parodies feminine stereotypes (e.g. Material Girl parodies Monroe as sex object)
Madonna as subversive feminist Madonnas videos challenge the power of the male gaze and subvert patriarchal values Open Your Heart – the gaze is reversed and shown from the eyes of the woman who performs pornographic acts for the men who peep through a small screen…They look pathetic, silly and desperate…Madonna reverses the gaze by subjecting men to the scrutiny of her gaze (Skeggs 1993: 68-9) Madonnas sexual and gender representations force the spectator to question the boundaries of gender constructs and the cultural constraints on sexual themes and sexual fantasies (Kaplan 1993: 157)
Madonna as low-other (Schulze, White and Brown 1993) Madonna seems to divide audiences into fans and haters Haters dismiss her as repulsive, nauseating, a whore, slut, a social disease, a monster Fans find pleasure in her unconventional sexuality, carefree attitude, playfulness Madonna represented as other by fans and haters – only a minority could identify with her stark feminist individuality (she has balls)
Madonna as postmodern star? Intertextual references (Monroe, cowgirl in American Pie and Music, which references The Wizard of Oz) Signifiers (imagery) over signified (meanings) e.g. Madonnas use of images from Catholicism but rejection of its patriarchal ethos Versatile film star roles further confuse her multifaceted celebrity identity (i.e. not fixed but fluid identities and reinvention of the self) She represents a celebration of popular feminism / post-feminism – a confident sexual agent, role model for younger female pop stars (Gauntlett 2004)