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Music Video and the Politics of Representation$
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Diane Railton and Paul Watson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633227

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633227.001.0001

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Afterword: Music Video Goes Gaga

Afterword: Music Video Goes Gaga

(p.141) Afterword: Music Video Goes Gaga
Music Video and the Politics of Representation

Diane Railton

Paul Watson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reviews the craze on Lady Gaga which accompanied the release and reception of ‘Telephone’. It is indicated that such phenomena might jump-start critical interest in music video as an important form of contemporary popular culture. The distinction between the video as a promotional tool for the song and the song proper is increasingly giving way. ‘Telephone’ presents a particularly fascinating perspective on the relationship between the internet, digital music culture and contemporary patterns of music video production, distribution and consumption. It also offers a deliberately ambiguous and playfully perverse image of femininity that defies normative conceptions of female sexuality. For contemporary feminism, and theorists of popular culture more generally, it perhaps matters less if Lady Gaga turns out to be more ‘material girl’ than ‘postfeminist icon’ in the long run than that the debate occasioned by her videos finds a path from the blog to the academy.

Keywords:   female sexuality, femininity, Lady Gaga, Telephone, music video, contemporary popular culture, internet, digital music culture

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