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Rap Music: Differences in Derogatory Word Use Between Mainstream and LGBTQ Artists
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims at investigating differences in derogatory word use between heteronormative rap artists and rap artists identifying with LGBTQ norms. A list of six profane words to be content analysed was constructed. These words were divided into three subcategories: those generally related to men (dick and nigga), women (bitch and pussy), or language in general (fuck and shit). The study examines the frequency of these derogatory words in randomly selected rap music and investigates how these frequencies differ in mainstream and LGBTQ artists' song lyrics. A content analysis of four randomly selected songs each from ten randomly selected mainstream artists and ten randomly selected LGBTQ artists was conducted. Two hypotheses that were derived from the literature (Wilson, 2007; Monk-Turner & Sylvertooth, 2008) were tested. It was expected that (1) general profanity (the use of fuck and shit) would occur most frequently in the lyrics of both mainstream and LGBTQ artists and that (2) derogatory words directed at women would not be as frequent in the lyrics of LGBTQ artists as in mainstream rappers' lyrics. On the contrary, the data show that profanities aimed at women occur more frequently in LGBTQ artists' lyrics. The data also show that general profanity is most common in LGBTQ artists' lyrics but not in the lyrics of mainstream artists, where profanities aimed at men was most frequent. However, there were several factors which affected the validity of the study. The issue of whether profane words are always used in a derogatory way in the songs or not is a big methodological shortcoming of the study in terms of accuracy. Furthermore, the small sample size indicates that one should be cautious about stating generalisations based on tendencies seen in the data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
rap music, LGBTQ norms, profanities, gender differences
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19539Archive number: EN1:4/2014OAI: diva2:819073
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-07-09 Created: 2015-06-09 Last updated: 2015-07-09Bibliographically approved

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