MTV and THE MADONNA PHENOMENON
"Madonna's intuitive grasp on the televisual world in
which we live- of the medium's possibilities for engaging
spectators in diverse ways- that in part accounts for her
success. She is the supreme television heroine." (E. Ann
"What are the main theories which we have studied so
far and how have they affected how you view television?"-
This is the question which this paper is supposed to answer.
Obviously there is not enough time or space in which to
discuss every theory which we have touched on. As a
compromise I decided to write about a topic to which almost
every theory that we have discussed can be applied: MTV and
the "Madonna Phenomenon".
As E. Ann Kaplan stated in her article on feminist
criticism, Madonna is truly the ultimate television heroine.
A discussion on contemporary popular culture and especially
on media culture could never be complete without bringing up
Madonna. She can be discussed in terms of feminism,
ideology, hegemony and commercialism as seen in both
Kaplan's as well as in John Fiske's article on British
In order to properly explain how the "Madonna
Phenomenon" has become such an important concept in media
studies, one must look first at how influential MTV (music
television) has become in the last decade. MTV addresses the
"desires, fantasies, and anxieties" of young people(Kaplan
270) who have, like myself, grown up in a decade when all
the traditional institutions and theories that were always
respected, are being questioned. It has become the center of
discussions of many young people who have grown up idolizing
the figures shown on the network. MTV is a culture in
itself. With it's own news, fashion and music programs it
can easily be the considered the basis for the...