Date of Award

Fall 12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Campbell

Committee Chair Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 2

Dr. Gene Wiggins

Committee Member 2 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 3

Dr. S. M. Mazharul Haque

Committee Member 3 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 4

Dr. Kimberly LeDuff

Committee Member 4 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 5

Dr. Cheryl Jenkins

Committee Member 5 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

Recently, more scholars are examining hip hop as a powerful cultural, communicative force, yet hip hop's political orientation goes unnoticed. This study highlights the politics found in hip hop culture and in rap music since 2000 by exploring hip hop as a social movement. This study utilizes a critical, cultural approach by applying ideological case study and textual analyses methods. Song lyrics, activist efforts and black politics prove the political orientation of hip hop culture, which revealed that rap music in general is limited by capitalistic, hegemonic restraints juxtaposed to rappers serving as the legitimate voice of the marginalized and as victims of the cultural production of negative stereotypes. The study concludes that hip hop as a social movement has revolutionary potential but has not reached its zenith as a movement because of its multiple shortcomings, including: a) problematic issues of contradiction such as materialism, capitalism and the politics of racism and classism, b) a lack of a movement-specific ideology shared by minority groups, and c) the lack of a single leader unrelated to entertainment as the representative "voice" of marginalized citizens to advocate for national policy issues and national reform.

Share

COinS