Madonna as Postmodern Myth: How One Star's Self-construction Rewrites Sex, Gender, Hollywood, and the American Dream

Front Cover
McFarland & Company, Jan 1, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 254 pages
Madonna has long been accepted as a pop culture icon, but this text postulates her greater cultural importance by analyzing Madonna as a postmodern myth. Section one defines "myth, " "postmodern" in general, and "postmodern" in popular culture and explains the connection between myth and stardom. Section two examines how Madonna methodically discovered and constructed herself (often rewriting her past), the nature and extent of her ambition and the means she used to reach her goals. This section also details the way in which she organized her own cult (borrowing from the gay community), devised her artistic output and cunningly targeted different audiences. Section three studies the fundamental contradiction--virgin or vamp? saint or prostitute?--that fuels Madonnas career. Section four studies the different masks that Madonna wears, citing her use of drag and her appropriations of old Hollywood star personae as examples. The final section describes how Madonna reflects todays society, its contradictions and worries, and its attitudes toward sexuality and religion.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


TwoDesperately Seeking Stardom
ThreeThe Fundamental Contradiction

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

Georges-Claude Guilbert teaches American literature, gender studies and popular culture at the University of Rouen and is an editor of the electronic academic journal Cercles. He lives in Notre Dame de Bondeville, France.

Bibliographic information