Communications Theory: Identity and Difference

These pages are derived from a Communications Theory seminar in which students discussed elements of popular/media culture which are (or have been) personally meaningful to them. The themes shown on the primary page (above) are those which seemed to make up the 'core' of the reasons why people might identify with or relate to particular media figures.




Sexuality and sexual confusion

Madonna, Boy George, Pet Shop Boys and Pulp were discussed as figures that had confronted or challenged traditional ideas about sexuality.


For women, perhaps, Madonna’s sexual confidence and openness was the most important thing – because it challenged expectations – whereas for men, the more interesting figures who undermined expectations were those who brought in elements of confusion and challenge to male identities (as well as Boy George, Jarvis Cocker and Pet Shop Boys, David Bowie and Richie Manic were mentioned in this kind of context).

Men and women who had confronted or undermined the ubiquity of heterosexuality had provided eye-opening new perspectives as we had been growing up: one of the significant contributions of pop music and its related media in the 1980s and 90s.

This theme is related to the themes of self-expression, being different, the conflict with traditional, and is also basically aspirational.

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