Type of Document Dissertation Author Clinton, Zerric Michael Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-05032010-184907 Title What Adolescent African American Male Adolescents Say About Music Videos With Implications For Art Education Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Art Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Tom Anderson Committee Chair David Gussak Committee Member Pat Villeneuve Committee Member Martell Teasley University Representative Keywords
- Music Video
- Visual Culture
- African American
Date of Defense 2010-04-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine the effect of music videos on African-American males. Minimal research exists in this area and the results are mixed. Hurt (2006) found that society has become desensitized to the sexism, misogyny and the sexual objectification of women in hip hop culture and noted that music videos are part of the problem. This impact is controlled by the catch, pull, and hold mechanisms (Vernallis, 1998). Straw (1988) extended this view by purporting that music videos perpetuate certain images or lifestyles. Kinder (1984) inserted that repeated exposure to these images or lifestyles within a short period of time establishes connections in the brain circuitry. This strengthens associations to such a point that when the spectator hears the same song on the radio or in another context in which the visuals are absent, the presence of the music retrieves these images from memory, accompanied by a desire to see them again.
In contrast, Sternheimer (2003) asserted that the media is just an easy target which people use to cover up other reasons for the ills of today’s youth. Jones (2002) had a positive view of the media saying that make-believe settings help adolescents deal with their anxieties and fears.
This study was conducted with a group of ninth through twelfth grade students in a rural southern Georgia town. The sample population was 30 adolescent African American males in the local high school. The students completed a pre-survey, a final survey, critiqued a music video and participated in a focus group discussion. The pre-survey elicited demographic information about the students’ ages, ways of dress and their
attitudes on music artists and their music videos. Following the pre-survey each
participant critiqued their favorite music video using the Anderson and Milbrandt (2005) critique model. A focus group was conducted next, in which participants candidly talked about what they see and learn from music videos. The participants completed a final survey to end the study.
There were three major findings.
1. Most participants are not critically analyzing the visual culture of music
videos. They appear to be socialized into acting out what they have viewed in
2. The students are influenced by their favorite music artists’ style of dress and the behavior of their favorite artists.
3. If given a chance to create their own music videos, most students agreed that they would use the same elements that they see in their favorite music videos.
The evidence shows that it is important for educators, particularly art educators to develop and implement ways for adolescents to gain experience in critically analyzing their environment, which in their words includes the visual culture that pervades popular music videos. Therefore, art educators have to be instrumental in assisting adolescents in assessing their social environments. Duncum (2006) argued for this by stating that visual culture art education has a social purpose, which is to develop critical thinkers and doers who can make responsible decisions and choices in society.
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