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Title: 'Give me myself again' : sexual violence narratives in popular music
Author: Finding, Deborah Peta
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis explores the relationships between popular music and experiences of sexual violence. It is situated at the intersection of trauma theory and cultural studies. Though a great deal of feminist work has been done on representations of sexual violence in the media, these reflections have either ignored music as a medium, or focused on it only in terms of misogynistic lyrics in rap and hip-hop. Similarly, contemporary trauma theory has addressed rape narratives in literature with regard to how these have interacted with lived experiences, but has not looked at these possibilities within music. There are two distinct ways in which this thesis approaches the topic: narrative analysis of the songs themselves, and survey work done with the audience of one particular iconic artist in this area, Tori Amos. The first chapter of analysis focuses on songs narrating experiences of domestic violence, and situates these within a wider feminist context of activism and social awareness. The second narrative analysis chapter examines songs concerned with sexual violence, and seeks to explore whether or not the diversity of experience narratives lacking in other popular media can be found in music. The two remaining substantive chapters in the thesis utilise audience research in order to explore issues of authenticity, understanding and healing. In examining the multiple audience responses to Tori Amos' part-fictionalised, yet autobiographical, rape narrative, 'Me and a Gun', a picture emerges of authenticity as a far more complex notion to listeners (and other receivers of art) than more widespread media representations seem to suggest. Finally, in examining the narratives of Amos' listeners, with regard to their own experiences, it becomes clear that Amos' music, Amos herself, and Internet communities built up around Amos, are vital sources of support for those who have been traumatised by sexual violence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available