Artículo
Documento sin ttulo

http://dx.doi.org/10.15178/va.2017.138.1-15

RESEARCH

VIDEO CLIP AND SOCIO-POLITICAL COMMUNICATION: THE VINDICATING MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC VIDEO

EL VIDEOCLIP Y LA COMUNICACIÓN SOCIO-POLÍTICA: EL MENSAJE REIVINDICATIVO EN EL VÍDEO MUSICALO VIDEOCLIPE E A COMUNICAÇÃO SÓCIO-POLÍTICA: A MENSAGEM REIVINDICATIVA NO VÍDEO MUSICAL

Jennifer Rodríguez-López1 Has a PhD in Education and Communication Studies, Master in Historical and Natural Heritage and a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Huelva (Andalusia, Spain). Her doctoral thesis deals with music videos produced by Andy Warhol, creating a methodological template for this format. She has worked as a technician in University Heritage in said institution from Huelva and has participated in a project funded by the Government of Andalusia on media literacy. She is a member of Agora Research Group and member of the Committee of International Scientific Reviewers of the Scientific Journal of Communication and Education “Comunicar”. She has published several articles on the video clip in relation to various areas such as media literacy, video games or gender stereotypes, as well as scientific papers on the figure of the artist Andy Warhol. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jennifer_Rodriguez-Lopez

Ana Sedeño-Valdellós2 Has a PhD in Audiovisual Communication and is a Professor at the University of Malaga-Andalusia Tech (Spain). Her main research interests are the new audiovisual practices in the audiovisual scenario and advertising formats. She recently published a book together with Pedro Mature and María Jesús Ruiz entitled Panorama of Latin American Cinema in a Global Context. Common stories, proposals, future. Madrid: Dykinson, SL. as well as a book chapter entitled “Cinema and Post-Cinema: transformations in the contemporary audiovisual” in Multiculturalism, image and new technologies. Fragua, 2014. Also the article “The post-television music video: Fields of experimentation in the digital audiovisual” in the journal Revista Opción. no. 1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ana_Sedeno

1University of Huelva. Spain
2Ana Sedeño-Valdellós: University of Málaga. Spain

ABSTRACT

The music video as an audiovisual product broadcasted through mass media and it is a useful tool in order to transmit social, cultural and political messages. Through a criticism-stylistics-based methodology grounded in the analysis and description of vindicating aspects, the present paper studies several examples of video clips which convey a message of social denounce about multiple matters such as warfare, political, gender and sexual identity movements. This piece of research tries to confirm the power of the music video clip in the dissemination of this kind of messages and its contribution to the pro-rights struggles, not only as an audiovisual, hypermedia format but also as a mechanism that facilitates communication of profound social messages through seduction and spectacle in an entertaining, veiled and almost invisible way.

KEY WORDS: Music Video, Message, Vindication, Society, Mass Media, Woman, Conflict, Politics, Advertising

RESUMEN

El vídeo musical como producto audiovisual difundido a través de los medios de comunicación masivos e internet supone una herramienta útil como transmisor de mensajes con un trasfondo social, político y cultural. El presente trabajo estudia, mediante una metodología crítico-estilística basada en el análisis y la descripción de los aspectos reivindicativos, diversos ejemplos de videoclips en los que se plantea un mensaje de denuncia social sobre varias temáticas como son los conflictos bélicos y políticos, los movimientos de igualdad de género y aquellos de liberación homosexual. Tras los distintos análisis, se concluye el poder del vídeo musical para la difusión de estos mensajes y su aportación a la lucha pro-derechos dentro de la iconosfera contemporánea, no solo como formato audiovisual hipermedia sino también como un mecanismo que a través de la seducción y el espectáculo facilita la comunicación de los mensajes sociales de una forma amena, velada y casi invisible.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Vídeo musical, Mensaje, Reivindicación, Sociedad, Medios de comunicación de masas, Mujer, Conflicto, Política, Publicidad

RESUMO

O vídeo musical como produto áudio visual difundido através dos meios de comunicação massivos e internet supõem uma ferramenta útil como transmissor de mensagens com um fundo social político e cultural. O presente trabalho estuda mediante uma metodologia critica-estilistica baseada na analises e descrição dos aspectos reivindicativos, diversos exemplos de videoclipes em que se propõem uma mensagem de denúncia social sobre várias temáticas como são os conflitos bélicos e políticos, os movimentos de igualdade de gêneros e de liberação homossexual. Depois das distintas analises, se conclui o poder do vídeo musical para a difusão dessas mensagens e seu aporte a luta pró- direitos dentro da iconosfera contemporânea, não somente como formato audiovisual hipermídia, se não também, como um mecanismo que através da sedução e o espetáculo facilita a comunicação das mensagens sociais de uma forma amena, velada e quase invisível.

PALAVRAS CHAVE: Vídeo musical Mensagem, Reivindicação, Sociedade, Meio de Comunicação de Massas, Mulher, Conflito, Política, Publicidade

Received: 06/03/2016
Accepted: 23/06/2016
Published: 15/03/2017

Correspondence: Jennifer Rodríguez-López. jennifer.rodriguez@dedu.uhu.es
Ana Sedeño-Valdellós. valdellos@uma.es

1. INTRODUCTION

Popular music is a communicative and cultural mode, with a whole universe of emotional involvement that allows, in turn, certain levels of ideological and social control. If one thinks about the instruments through which record companies try to traffic that influence and gain visibility and economic benefits, one can find formats such as music video, a meeting point between music, media and music industry. Its origin linked to advertising and promotional practices makes it possible to underline its nature of “ideological machinery” (Vernallis, 1998, p. 153) and its ability to socially construct individuals. Although limited, there is some literature associated with the analysis of the video as an agent of social influence. During the eighties, the analyses of the contents of the video clip prevailed in terms of study of the most used themes. Baxter et al (1985) found images of sex, dance and violence in at least half of their 62 case studies. Sherman and Dominick (1986) analyzed 166 videos, where they found the hegemonic presence of violence and sex. In the nineties, Markman (1999), continued this aspect with analysis of content and visual climate, with criteria of values and lifestyles, vital attitudes, gender relations, practiced activities and nature of the institutions. His findings describe some messages with a disposition toward optimism (visual climates tend to an idealistic vision of interpersonal relationships), joy and happiness, almost as much with a tendency toward pessimism and nihilism, mixed with hedonistic and individualistic content, ie a model of values very close to the postmodernism. Other pieces of research (Seidman, 1992; Sommers-Flanagan, Sommers-Flanagan, and Davis, 1993; Vincent, 1989; Tapper, Thorson and Black, 1994) have analyzed the role of women in video clips, showing their tendency to stereotype. If we analyze the female cultural representations after the nineties, we can see some distillations of post-feminist stances. In this sense, they are assigned aggressive behaviors (Inness, 2004; Gill and Scharff, 2011) and are described as sexual subjects. As suggested by some research, the female characters in the series, music videos, movies and other television messages often develop in environments that tend to describe contradictory attitudes, without this meaning weakening of the foundations of patriarchy and domination of women. On the one hand, they are desirable subjects who remain dependent on a male gaze that wants and fetishizes them; on the other hand, these women use this power as a source of empowerment, combining new roles such as those of a warrior girl of fashion divas (Tortajada and Araüna, 2014). Vernallis (1998) is another benchmark in this case, since his work tries to make an analysis of the body building and the representation of the image of singers and musicians in the video clip. The author assumes and demonstrates that ways to develop the representation of categories such as sexuality, gender and race can be generalized. More recently, Railton and Watson (2011) address the music video in political terms by some categories stemming from the post-feminism, studies of group, racial and subcultural identity and a new masculine subjectivity.

2. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this piece of research are related to the role of the music video as a transmitter of messages beyond its motivation as an advertising product of the music industry. Therefore, among our objectives are the following:
1. See the video clip as an ideological instrument loaded with social and political messages
2. Analyze the music video as a vehicle for transmitting such messages
3. Recognize the power of the video clip as a social vindicating engine
4. Study the content of the messages of vindicating music videos and musical visual elements used
5. Approach the video clip of sociopolitical content from a criticism-stylistics-based viewpoint

3. METHODOLOGY

The concept of research is defined by McMillan and Schumacher (2005: 11) as “the systematic process of collecting and logically analyzing information (data) for a specific purpose.” Therefore, the methodology of this piece of research has been selected according to its nature, so it is descriptive, based on the analysis and description of the different categories and significant dimensions of the object of study. Data obtained through direct observation of the audiovisual text are treated by analytical procedures from two tasks: managing and interpreting data (Gibbs, 2012: 21). The method we used is thus defined through objective observation and description of the analyzed data for further interpretation. This is what Taylor and Bogdan (1987: 17) defined as ‘descriptive observation’, from which we started for further analysis by applying a methodological grid. Therefore, through description and understanding of the object of study, we will attempt to develop an explanatory conceptual model, with the aim of achieving better understanding of the studied reality. In this paper, various research lines related to the music video as a mechanism of social vindication will be followed, among which the following stand out:
1. Because of its mass character, the music video becomes a powerful social vehicle capable of spreading messages related to current problems
2. Thanks to the experimental, seductive and playful nature of the video clip, such messages are transmitted in a subtle way in the contemporary iconosphere
3. The music video uses social vindications as expressive and provocative recourse, parallel to the discourse of social struggle
The rationale for this piece of research is based on the importance and novelty of the topic, since there is an interest in the music video as an object of academic study. This is a topic related to the didactics of the media and teaching in their analysis. A shortage is observed in this field of study, in relation to research based on the analysis of vindicating messages in the music video. The analyzed sample is defined to be non-probabilistic, since use is made of thoughtful and reasoned criteria justifying its choice. Thus, the analyzed video clips cover a broad time period, since they include video clips from the beginning of the format in the eighties to the present. They are music videos with fame and international recognition, made by prestigious directors and broadcast by worldwide channels on both television and internet platforms. Thus, the sample consists of various music videos grouped around four main themes in relation to the prevailing social movements at present: gender equality, gay liberation, solidarity movements and armed and political conflicts.

4. DISCUSSION. SPREADING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL MESSAGES THROUGH THE VIDEO CLIP

4.1. The image of women and gender equality in the video

Women’s emancipation started as a movement during the French Revolution and led to the vindication of equality between men and women in political, legal, professional, social, family and personal matters. The celebration after winning women’s suffrage gave way to feminism and current post-feminism that seeks to create an image of female empowerment. To Tortajada and Araüna (2014: 26), this ideological phenomenon is characterized by:
The representation of women as sexual subjects (who desire and, above all, want to be desired), due to the equalization of culture and an emphasis on the natural difference between sexes, on individualism and consumerism. Partially it incorporates feminist vindications, but it does so by redefining the concept of empowerment and the connection between consumerism and feminism in such a way that politics and activism are displaced by less combative concepts such as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘attitude’.
As the authors point out, observing them in the roles they play in the music video, women appear eroticized and with an attitude of upgrading, as opposed to the role they played in the past in which submission and passivity were the predominant feminine traits. Therefore, the video becomes a transmitter of gender stereotypes. Colas and Villaciervos (2007: 37) argue that stereotypes are “a cultural representation, which contains ideas, prejudices, values, interpretations, standards, duties, mandates and prohibitions on the lives of women and men.” As an advertising format immersed in the mass media, the music video makes use of stereotypes due to their comfort and easy identification, so it favors their becoming deeply rooted in society. Moreover, García-Ruiz et al (2014-1015: 579) argue that “the media provide representations of social reality, responding to interests or priorities on issues and problems to deal with and whose influence affects our perception of the environment”, thus becoming a vehicle for vindicating ideas. Thus, the video clip facilitates the presentation provides an image of the woman close to upgrading, strength and power, defining a new female role. In current music videos, this dichotomy is observed and a female representation close to almost pornographic eroticism, aggressiveness towards male characters and provocation is promoted, in order to vindicate their role in society. These features are exemplified in the 2002 video clip directed by David Lachapelle for the song “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera in which she appeared half-naked and with an attitude of domination through her sexuality. This video was censured for its erotic content, which was used to present a more powerful and vindicating image of the woman. The denunciation of the situation of women in society is done in the videos “Stupid Girls” by Pink in 2005 and “Tell Me Where It Hurts” by the band Garbage in 2007. The former, directed by Dave Meyers and with a duration of three minutes thirty-two seconds, aims at making women aware of their own bodies, denouncing body models present in the media and promoting acceptance of more realistic aesthetics. The video clip denounces the implementation of misconceptions such as superficiality, performing a parody of cosmetic surgery, eating disorders and even the role of women in music videos starring men. In “Tell Me Where It Hurts”, directed by Sophie Muller, lasting four minutes and ten seconds, gender abuse and sexual domination by man are denounced. The singer shows bruises resulting from blows while singing the song. Finally, after revenging on her assailant, she shows a triumphant and dominating attitude. Said triumphal attitude manifests itself differently in the video clip “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé in 2011, directed by Francis Lawrence. With a duration of four minutes fifty-six seconds, it presents a battle between men and women. The singer leads the female group with an aggressive, strong and powerful attitude. Through the title and lyrics of the song, its vindicating nature supported by images is underlined, focusing on the new role of women in the world. In the same vein is the video “Hard Out Here” by Lily Allen in 2013, directed by Christopher Sweeny is located. Here the stereotypes associated with women are reversed and the traditional roles ascribed to men and women are parodied in an ironic tone, denouncing the abuses of the record industries to women. Currently, the music videos by Meghan Trainor stand out, “All about the Bass” (2015) and “Dear Future Husband” (2015) serving as examples. Both, directed by Fatima Robinson and with similar aesthetics, introduce new standards of beauty far from extreme thinness and encourage acceptance of the different aesthetic models. At the same time, they try to convey a message of authenticity and break with stereotypical and traditional roles, promoting a more proactive attitude of women in all facets of society.

4.2. The gay liberation movement and the clip provocation

The gay liberation movements began in the United States in the late sixties. In 1969, a march for gay pride took place in New York City and it started at Greenwich Village, as a response to riots against homosexuals in Stonewall Club. This fact inspired the peaceful events that led to the recovery of the rights of this group as well as the creation of homophilic organizations as the Gay Liberation Front. Their demands spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world, and they achieved rights such as marriage and adoption. Thus, their main objectives in relation to the situation of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals were summarized in the abolition of laws criminalizing homosexuality, awareness of the rights of these people to achieve equality with heterosexuals and eradication of prejudice and other negative attitudes (Noir, 2010: 130). Many taboos emerged but, at the same time, various claims about homosexuality and the traditional role of men and women in relation to motherhood, sexual relations, the household and family environment, contraception or sexually transmitted diseases like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), known in 1980 as the gay cancer. The vindicating role of the music video is observed since the beginning of the format. In 1984, the video clip “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, directed by Bernard Rose, was censored and banned by the BBC and the MTV as its actions were presented in a gay bar in which there were sexual practices of a sadomasochistic kind. By the same director and in the same year, “Smalltown Boy” (1984) by the British group Bronski Beat, became a gay anthem due to the content of its lyrics in which there are stanzas like the following: “Pushed around and kicked around / Always a lonely boy / You were the one / That they’d talk around town.” In this video clip, with a duration of 4 minutes and 57 seconds, there is a young gay man who lives in a small town with his parents and suffers a homophobic aggression. After talking to a guy whom he bothers, the gay is beat by the guy and his friends. Given the rejection of his family and the conservative and traditional society in which he lives, he is forced to go to the city to feel accepted. Also in the eighties and related to gay themes are the videos “I Want to Break Free” (1984) by Queen and “Domino Dancing” (1988) by Pet Shop Boys.
In the nineties there are many video clips using the massive nature of this format as a transmitter of social message. “Outside” (1998) by George Michael serves as an example. This video clip, directed by Vaughan Arnell and with a duration of 5 minutes and 36 seconds, is a response following the arrest of the singer for having sex with another man in a public restroom, forcing him to come out. In the video clip, there are many scenes in which couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, have sex outdoors, which is a satire of what happened. The title and lyrics of the song, whose chorus says “Let’s go outside (let’s go outside) / In the sunshine / I know you want to, but you cannot say yes / Let’s go outside / In the moonshine / Take me to the best places that I love best”, have a double meaning since they encourage to have sex outdoors while inducing people to gay liberation.
Since the arrival of the new millennium until now, there have been music videos that have similarly used homosexual sexuality both as an act of social protest and as provocative recourse. Thus, “All the Things She Said” (2002) by t.AT.u., lasting 3 minutes and 49 seconds and directed by Ivan Shapovalov, shows a scene in which two female young appear enclosed behind a fence while being watched by a crowd on the other side of the fence. The girls kiss in the rain and snow fighting against the looks and the conditions imposed by the adult group. Finally, the girls abandon their captivity and it seems that the crowd are the ones who were prisoners of their prejudices. “Androgyny” (2001) by Garbage, “I Kissed a Girl” (2008) by Katy Perry and “All American Boy” (2013) by Steve Grand belong to this period and subject.
More current examples of the vindication of homosexuals are the video clips “Same Love” (2012) by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat Mary Lambert, and “Take Me To Church” (2015) by Hozier. The former, directed by Ryan Lewis and Jon Jon Augustavo and lasting 7 minutes, tells the story of a young homosexual from birth, showing the emotional difficulties and rejection suffered by this group from institutions such as the church and society in general. Because of their content and their participation in the campaign for same-sex marriage, it received the award for Best Video with a Social Message of MTV in 2013. For its part, “Take Me To Church”, directed by Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson, presents a homosexual love violently persecuted by a group of young homophobes. The beauty of the images in black and white contrasts with the hardness of the message, highlighted by the tone of the lyrics.

4.3. Charity Singles: Between marketing and social criticism

As argued in this article, almost from its beginning as an experimental audiovisual format, the music video became a transmitter of social, cultural and political messages. Thanks to its advertising value and power of seduction, a solidarity form called Charity Singles emerges. Cuesta (2007, p. 20) states that:
From the second half of the eighties, many artists discover the potential of the video clip as a means of vindicating expression in political and gender issues, but also referred to other freedoms. That is: there is awareness that the video clip can be a weapon for something, for conveying a message or purpose, or for moving to action.
Thus these solidarity songs emerge halfway between marketing strategies and dissemination of charitable causes, defined by the previous author (Cuesta, 2007, p. 20) as “the combined efforts of several singers known by the public whose purpose is to raise funds for humanitarian or charitable causes. “These music videos are characterized by the artists performing the song -sometimes in the recording studio-, with collation montage of scenes of the cause for which it is intended to raise profits. Thus, one of the first expressions of solidarity was the televised performance of the group Bee Gees with the song “Too Much Heaven” in 1979 as a contribution to the campaign Music for UNICEF Fond.
But surely the solidarity video clip with the highest circulation is “We Are the World” (1985), against hunger in Ethiopia and in which many artists such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen participated, under the name USA for Africa. More than 50 million dollars were raised in addition to receiving various awards including Video of the Year by MTV. The video clip lasts eight minutes and maintains the structure described above for this type of video clip. The main thing is to show the largest number of participating artists, regardless of other elements of representation and narration. Therefore, the staging and concept are characterized by simplicity and concreteness of the solidarity message through the gestures of the artists and the lyrics of the song.
In 1990 another solidarity musical and visual proposal came through the organization Red Hot, dedicated to fighting AIDS through the pop culture, and they made Red Hot + Blue consisting of an album in which versions of songs performed by Cole Porter were made and where international artists like Sinead O’Connor, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, U2 and Annie Lennox participated, among others. Video clips of some themes were made with the collaboration of prestigious directors such as “In The Still of the Night” by The Neville Brothers and directed by Jonathan Demme and “It’s All Right With Me” by Tom Waits and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Among them was “I’ve Got You under My Skin” by Neneh Cherry with Jean-Baptiste Mondino as a director. In this video clip, the singer raps a plea against misinformation about the AIDS virus and promotes awareness of this disease. Initiatives of this organization continue today with collaborations of several artists who support the cause.

4.4. The vision of war and political conflicts in the music video

In relation to social and humanitarian vindications, the music video becomes a powerful transmitter, leaning on images and the sensationalism of the soundtrack, the messaging of political and pacifist denunciation. Penalva (2002, p. 402) states that “in contemporary wars, relations between power and media maintain some elements that we call traditional (propaganda and media control), but new aspects related to the development of communications and globalization also emerge”. Current conflicts are broadcast live in a globalized way and their consequences affect worldwide. Therefore, the music video echoes this problem by making use of political vindications in its rhetorical and seductive apparatus, often in line with the lyrics of the songs denouncing such situations, promoting collective awareness. In the clip “This is Radio Clash” by The Clash (1981), there are images related to social inequalities and conflicts presented through the media. With a duration of four minutes and seven seconds, there are scenes of peaceful demonstrations, snipers in buildings, television cameras and antennas that are intended to show the mediation of television and radio in the information on conflicts received by society.
One of the most widespread music videos with a bellicose hue is “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd, included in the musical film The Wall in 1982. This video clip is a critique of the consequences of World War II and the Nazi government . Directed by Alan Parker, it presents the elements of war such as military discipline, alienation and human and material destruction. It is one of the first denunciations of the results of the war in society by combining the soundtrack and the iconic band, creating a powerful gimmicky machinery.
Meanwhile, “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984) by Bruce Springsteen is considered by the public to be a patriotic hymn whose lyrics and music video extol the virtues and customs of American society. However, another view suggests that it is a protest pacifist song intended to denounce abuses by the US government during the Vietnam War, and mistreatment of war veterans and other social issues such as the rights of workers, the use of weapons or racism. The video clip, directed by John Sayles and with a duration of 4 minutes and 53 seconds, intersperses images of a live performance of the singer with everyday scenes of America such as a flag waving in the wind, workers leaving factories and soldiers, weapons and cemeteries of war victims. The lyrics alludes to weapons and the conflict between the US and Vietnam by referring to “the yellow men”, “Khe Sang”, “Viet Cong” and “Saigon” as well as the department dedicated to war veterans. Later, in the nineties, the video clip “I Saved the World Today” by Eurythmics, directed in 1999 by David A. Stewart, stands out and it is a plea for peace. The lyrics of the song, included in their album Peace, contains a pacifist message, subtly denouncing the consequences of war, the loss of soldiers, grieving families, the ravages of armed conflicts in society, while an ironic sense is seen in its tone, which is also visible in the images. In this music video lasting 4 minutes and 47 seconds, there are two scenes. In the first one, the band, led by its singer, with military-style clothing, camouflage clothing, identification badges, and even the drummer wears a shirt with the anarchist star. After the first half minute, a huge orchestra is shown, arranged in a staircase, composed of uniformed musicians as military commanders. Next, some of the military authorities abandon their posts to watch how the song players sign a peace treaty in which “Peace Ready” is can be read. The ink drops on paper, creating a visual metaphor. With President George W. Bush and the Iraq conflict in 2003, there were many video clips denouncing the consequences of war and the warmongering attitude of the US government. “Shoot the Dog” by George Michael (2002) stands out, showing the ineptitude of US former president Bush through animation and burlesque, Tony Blair appearing as his lapdog and Saddam Hussein together with missiles like the characters involved in the Iraq war after the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. This video clip lasting five minutes and twenty-seven seconds, tries to send a pacifist and anti-war message.
“American Life” by Madonna has three versions, all directed by Jonas Åkerlund, since the video clip was censured for its criticism against the US government. In the first version lasting 4 minutes and 50 seconds, the singer is dressed like a high commander of the army. The actions are developed in a fashion show in which all the characters wear uniforms of the US Army. Images of military aircraft, missile and bombing, maimed and wounded are interleaved. In the fashion show, there are also Iraqi children as the main victims of war. Finally, Madonna throws a grenade that is picked up by President Bush, who attends the fashion show. In the censored version, the singer is dressed the same way on a background of flags of different countries, finishing with the American flag. Also, the video clips “American Idiot” (2004) and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (2005) both by Green Day, serve as examples of political vindication against the US government.

5. CONCLUSIONS

Since the beginning of the music video as a format in the eighties, the primary means for its dissemination has been television. However, this scenario is changing. Selva (2012, p. 1) states that this format cannot be identified with television, “to the extent that there are other means that have been achieving an increasing role in the dissemination of the video clip” and Roncero-Palomar (2008, p. 281) argues that “the music video begins to leave the platform that made it popular, television. Instead, the new electronic devices capable of playing multimedia content have emerged”. Thus, at present, the spaces dedicated to video clip in this public medium are very scarce or nonexistent, thematic channels have stopped broadcasting them twenty four hours and the internet web platforms have replaced them, facilitating the massive dissemination of the video clip and its sociopolitical messages. There are several websites dedicated to music videos such as YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, Metatube, Jukebox, Vimeo, bliptv and Tu.tv, among other sites based on UGC (User Generated Content). The development of Web 2.0 and its allowing the user to choose contents represents a democratization of contents and enables users to consume messages escaping what is commercial. Thus, thanks to this massive nature, the music video has become a powerful transmitter of political ideas that seek to raise public awareness of new values. Through the figure of the singer as a model of conduct, the implementation of awareness based on anti-war, pacifism, sexual and gender equality and overcoming economic and social differences is favored. As Penalva (2002, p. 396) points out, “in a world where many of the social relations develop in the media universe, in its various technological forms and content (information, entertainment, knowledge and training), the media acquire a phenomenal influence”.The seductive apparatus of the music video stands as a gimmicky machinery capable of articulating new models of thinking. The combination of music and images as well as the inclusion of new techniques make it a perfect tool for reflection, transmission of ideas, but also of manipulation. There is evident use of violence and provocation as another advertising mechanism immersed in a circuit of resources trying to maintain and fix the viewer’s attention on the product. As Penalva (2002, p. 398) states, “the public demands violence and not only for its spectacular nature (...) but also for the love of the ‘morbid look’ on the ‘real’ images or stories offered by the media”. As noted in the methodological section, the use made by the music video of the social vindications as expressive and provocative recourse parallel to the discourse of social struggle is evident. Thus, the presence of violent scenes taken from the reality of war has a double function in the video: denunciation and attraction.
The current trend in the communication and information media is to present the facts so morbidly and provocatively, in order to increase the audience. TV news unabashedly present, in children’s time, images of disasters and armed conflicts. This witness is picked up by the music video, trying to exploit all its spectacular resources. Therefore, there are many vindicating clips in which images of the consequences of war and economic shortages in developing countries, gender abuse or homophobic conflicts are shown. Bryant and Zillmann (1996, p. 603) indicate the reasons for attracting the media to violence. According to these authors, “they provide viewers with satisfaction to their morbid curiosity, make it possible to celebrate their emotional sensitivity by verifying their rejection reactions and incite them to social comparison of their situation with that of the subjects that appear in the media.”
Regarding sexual and gender vindications, they occur in the video clip by being far away from the stereotypes associated with both women and the gay community, while new images that shape common places are created. This is the case of the new female representation seen in the video clip and presenting a strong, independent woman with a dominant attitude toward men. However, this picture is beginning to be stereotyped because, as Márquez (2014, p. 183) states, “the video, then, is presented as another vision technology that helps to reproduce the structures of a patriarchal system settled for years and that continues to fuel female stereotypes and models that limit the action of women.” To the author, feminist responses and the most critical messages are made from the underground, ie, away from commercial channels, as they are more “with gender equality and non-exploitation of women for commercial and sexual purposes” (Marquez, 201, p.: 187).
This reality becomes the hypersexualization that characterizes visual messages including the music video. Martinez-Noriega (2014, p. 63) states on this phenomenon that “there is excessive greed for sexuality and what is sexual, which might sometimes seem a sort of obsession.” The author continues to stress the bombardment of images with a sexual content that society undergoes today through the media and emphasizes the role of advertising in the dissemination of such fascination.
In conclusion, the decisive role of the music video is reaffirmed as a mechanism generating models of conduct and sexual roles and gender differences, while the format makes use of that power to spread vindicating messages.

REFERENCES

1. Baxter RL, De-Reimer C, Landina A, Leslie L, Singletary MW (1985). A Content Analysis of Music Videos. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 29(3), 333-340.
2. Bryant J, Zillmann D (1996). El entretenimiento como efecto de los media, en Bryant J, Zillmann D (Coords.). Los efectos de los medios de comunicación: Investigaciones y teorías. Barcelona: Paidós Ibérica.
3. Colás P, Villaciervos P (2007). La interiorización de los estereotipos de género en jóvenes y adolescentes. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 25, 1, 35-58. Recuperado de: http://goo.gl/nQckRF
4. Cuesta M (2007). Videoclisión: Relaciones entre teleseries y videoclips en seis capítulos. Santiago: Xunta de Galicia.
5. García-Ruiz R, Aguaded-Gómez JI, Rodríguez-Vázquez AI (2014-2015). Propuesta de alfabetización mediática ante los estereotipos de género en los medios de comunicación. Resultados y valoración de ‘Rostros de Mujer’. Prisma Social, 13, 576-609. Recuperado de: http://goo.gl/aD9BmT
6. Gibbs G (2012). El análisis de datos cualitativos en investigación Cualitativa. Madrid: Morata.
7. Gill R, Scharff C (2011). Introduction, en Gill R, Scharff C. (Eds.). New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Subjectivity. (pp.1-17). Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan.
8. Inness SA (2004). Boxing gloves and bustiers: New images of tough women, en Innes SA (Ed.). Action Chicks. New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture. (pp. 2-17). Nueva York: Palgrave, Macmillan.
9. Markman R (1998). La Cultura global del “Sputnik”: Un modelo de valores para la juventud. Trabajo de investigación doctoral. Barcelona: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
10. Márquez IV (2014). La imagen de la mujer en los videoclips de Hip-Hop. Versión. Estudios de Comunicación y Política, 33, 181-189.
11. Martínez-Noriega DA (2014). Música, imagen y sexualidad: El reggaetón y las asimetrías de género. El Cotidiano, 186, 63-67.
12. McMillan JH, Schumacher S (2005). Investigación educativa. Una introducción conceptual. Madrid: Pearson.
13. Noir RA (2010). Sobre el Movimiento Lésbico-Gay Homosexual-Bisexual Transgénero. Revista electrónica de Psicología Política, 8, 22, 128-140. Recuperado de: http://goo.gl/z6rzGl.
14. Penalva C (2002) “El tratamiento de la violencia en los medios de comunicación”. Alternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, 10, 395-412.
15. Railton D, Watson P (2011). Music Video and the Politics of Representation. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.
16. Roncero-Palomar R (2008). Antivídeo: Estética e intermedialidad. Tesis doctoral. Madrid: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
17. Selva D (2012). Nuevos fenómenos en el entorno on line. La difusión del videoclip a través de internet. Telos, Cuadernos de Comunicación e Innovación.
18. Seidman SA (1992). An Investigation of Sex-Role Stereotyping in Music Videos. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 36(2), 209-216.
19. Sherman B, Dominick JR (1986). Violence and Sex in Music Videos: TV and Rock’n’Roll. Journal of Communication, 36 (1), 79-93.
20. Sommers-Flanagan R, Sommers-Flanagan J, Davis B (1993). What´s Happening on Music Television? A Gender Role Content Analysis. Sex Roles, 28 (11/12), 745-583.
21. Tapper J, Thorson E, Black D (1994). Variations in Music Videos as a Function of Their Musical Genre. Journal Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 38 (1), 103-113.
22. Taylor SJ, Bogdan R (1987). Introducción a los métodos cualitativos de investigación. La búsqueda de significados. Barcelona: Paidós.
23. Tortajada I, Araüna N (2014). “Mujeres, violencia y posfeminismo en los vídeos de Madonna”. Área Abierta, 14(3), 23-41. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/rev_ARAB.2014.v14.n3.45851
24. Vernallis C (1998). The Aesthetics of Music Video: An Analysis of Madonna´s Cherish. Popular Music, 17(2), 153-185
25. Vincent RC (1989). Clio´s Consciousness Raised? Portrayal of Woman in Rock Videos, Re-Examined. Journalism Quarterly, 66, 155-160.

Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International,.
Logo de la Asociación de Revistas Culturales de España Logo de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid Logo de la Universidad de Alcalá Logo de la Universidad de la Frontera Logo de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Información Logo del Departamento de Comunicación Audiovisual y Publicidad II Logo de Concilium Logo del Fórum