Theses

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  • “Walk Like the Heroes”: The Performed Identity of Bruce Springsteen and the Relationship to Contemporary Popular Music Performance
    “Walk Like the Heroes”: The Performed Identity of Bruce Springsteen and the Relationship to Contemporary Popular Music Performance
    This thesis examines the trend of contemporary popular musicians referencing and being compared to Bruce Springsteen. To do so, the work analyzes the performed social identity of Springsteen and its relationship to popular music performance, particularly in terms of understanding and assessing the motivations behind comparisons with Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, a band frequently though to represent Sprinsteen's influence. Two case studies were conducted to examine the performed personas of both artists, informed by theories of the communication of meaning and identity. Springsteen is found to portray a traditionally American, White, working class male, representative of the idealized image of early American republican philosophy. Alternately, Fallon is found to perform a similar social identity without the significant evocation of this republicanism. Comparisons between these artists are theorized as emerging from their use of similar identity representations and indicators of meaning, particularly in their communication of authenticity.
    “You Go, Girl:” How Facebook and Instagram impacted the post-feminist construction of Electric Forest’s Women’s Program
    “You Go, Girl:” How Facebook and Instagram impacted the post-feminist construction of Electric Forest’s Women’s Program
    In February of 2016, Electric Forest — a four-day electronic music festival from June 23-26 in Rothbury, Michigan —announced a women’s only program called Her Forest. The initiative’s aim was to facilitate feelings of “connection, inspiration, and comfort” (Weiner, 2016) amongst the festival’s female guests. This MRP draws from past research on influence and postfeminism to consider how the Electric Forest brand, as well as its online followers, constructed and discussed Her Forest via Facebook and Instagram. A directed qualitative analysis was applied to 21 of Electric Forest’s Facebook and Instagram posts and 110 associated user comments. The analysis emphasized the powerful impact that social media applications have on the way in which corporate messages are expressed, received, reshaped, supported, and challenged.