Coming to You Wherever You Are: MuchMusic, MTV, and Youth Identities
MTV Networks is the undisputed international music video gatekeeper, with stations from Australia to India, Russia to Brazil. Canada is one of the few countries to resist its global reach. Although the network has launched “MTV Canada” with an affiliate, that station limits its offerings primarily to talk shows and lifestyle programming. Many Canadians regard the Toronto-based MuchMusic as the nation’s important domestic source of music videos—substantially different from, and superior to, American-based MTV. In her new study of the two music channels and their different cultures, Kip Pegley compares the musical and extra-musical content of MuchMusic and MTV, and examines how the stations construct their two distinct identities. Moving beyond analysis of individual videos, Pegley looks at the overall programming of each station, uncovers the well-hidden matrixes of power that dictate both which performers appear and what genres get the most airtime, and delves into how ideas of gender and race serve to “naturalize” distinct and complex nationalist ideologies. In so doing, she discovers why Canadians feel so protective of their music video station, and why they successfully have withstood the MTV invasion.
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