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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Fisher, Josh

Second Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Third Advisor

Koetje, Todd


Music Videos are a pervasive text in American Culture. Though scholars have paid music videos little attention, the limited research has focused on the ways they tell stories about gender, sex, and violence in American culture. In particular, discussions have focused on the use of the discourse of the male gaze in the representation of women in music videos.

Drawing on the framework of practice and performance theory, I look at the role of embodiment in shaping the discourse cultural actors use when viewing music videos. I hypothesize that individuals with a background in dance use a differing discourse than the male gaze when viewing women in music videos. To test this hypothesis, I used a digital survey and performed linear regression analysis on the data. Additionally, I contextualize this data with a sample of interviews and text responses from survey participants.

I conclude that there appears to be no evidence of a negative correlation between the dance exposure and the use of the male gaze as primary discourse when viewing women in music videos. Additionally, I discovered there is no trend among participants to use the male gaze as a primary interpretive discourse. I further discuss the implications and limitations of the study within.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Music videos--United States--Criticism and interpretation; Women in mass media--Criticism and interpretation; Sex role in mass media; Male dancers--Social aspects--United States; Perception

Geographic Coverage

United States




masters theses




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