An exploration of American ideology and its portrayal in the Broadway musical

Grier, Emma (2013) An exploration of American ideology and its portrayal in the Broadway musical. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    America is a country steeped in ideology, a system of beliefs formed from its own core values. They are presented as values that belong to America, and they constitute what it means to be an American. They keep the American people striving to achieve, with ideologies such as ‘The American Dream’ a heavily loaded phrase with a meaning that is hard to pinpoint, making it all the more difficult for it to be achieved in its entirety. It has been found that in times of trouble America returns to these core ideologies in order that the country may retain its stability, a policy known as protectivism.

    This dissertation will explore the ideologies of love and the family in the context of post war 1950s America. Aiming to look at the changing forms the family took both during and post war in order to maintain stability. Louis Althusser’s Marxist theories of Ideological State Apparatus and Jean Francois Lyotard’s metanarrative inform the discussion. Whilst offering a lens through which to explore and question these ideologies.

    Popular culture of the period offers examples of both reinforcement and a challenging of these metanarratives. Post war Broadway musical theatre can be seen to support the ideologies of love and the family unit by presenting them as dominant themes. However through detailed study this dissertation has considered that in fact post war musicals also deconstruct these ideologies as the individuals within them are still stuck striving to achieve their dreams through America’s own ideology.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jenni King
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 09:13
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:33

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