Samantha VanReese


The Influence of Rap/Hip-Hop Music:
A Mixed-Method Analysis on Audience Perceptions
of Misogynistic Lyrics and the Issue of Domestic Violence

//This study examined the culture of rap/hip-hop music and how misogynistic lyrical messages influ- enced listeners’ attitudes toward intimate partner violence. Adams and Fuller (2006) define misogyny as the “hatred or disdain of women” and “an ideology that reduces women to objects for men’s ownership, use, or abuse” (p. 939). Popular American hip-hop and rap artists, such as Eminem, Ludacris and Ja Rule, have increasingly depicted women as objects of violence or male domination by communicating that “submission is a desirable trait in a woman” (Stankiewicz & Rosselli, 2008, p. 581). These songs condone male hegemony in which “men find the domination and exploitation of women and other men to be not only expected, but actu- ally demanded” (Prushank, 2007, p. 161). Thus, these messages glorify violence against women, including rape, torture and abuse, and foster an acceptance of sexual objectification and degradation of women (Russo & Pirlott, 2006). These misogynistic themes first emerged in rap/hip-hop songs in the late 1980s and are es- pecially apparent today with women being portrayed as sex objects and victims of sexual violence (Adams & Fuller, 2006; Russo & Pirlott, 2006).

Young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 are the most likely age group to consume rap/hip-hop music, and in turn, may become desensitized to the derogatory lyrics condoning relationship violence and sexual aggression (Smith, 2005). Specifically, the college-aged demographic has been influenced by the prevalence of sexually explicit media and the negative images of women presented in hip-hop culture, which “teach men that aggression and violence are closely linked to cultural views of masculinity” (Wood, 2012, p. 105). Furthermore, the physical abuse of women is celebrated in rap/hip-hop songs promoting “models of masculinity that sustain and encourage misogyny” (Cobb & Boettcher, 2007, p. 3026).//

This article speaks about the way rap and hip-hop lyrics are verbalized to degrade women and portray women in lights such as sexual objects. This article also touches on the audiences consuming the music and the general topics discussed within the lyrics themselves. This article touches upon certain artists and their lyrical inuendos to explain the demoralizing compass women are subjected to in todays top charting musical generation.

This article also skims on the topics of the ways men are masculinized through the lyrics. This is done in ways that teach young men that aggression and violence are closely linked with treatment of women in today’s society. With the lyrics demeaning women on a regular basis, it is clearly stated that lyrics are taking a toll on the relationships between men and women in today’s society.

Overall, this article touches on many topics. Most of the topics relating to standards of treatment and the demoralization of women in today’s music culture. This article also talks negatively towards rap and hip hop music due to the lyrical content explicitly verbalized within today’s chart topping songs.

Young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 are the most likely age group to consume rap/hip-hop music, and in turn, may become desensitized to the derogatory lyrics condoning relationship violence and sexual aggression (Smith, 2005). Specifically, the college-aged demographic has been influenced by the prevalence of sexually explicit media and the negative images of women presented in hip-hop culture, which “teach men that aggression and violence are closely linked to cultural views of masculinity” (Wood, 2012, p. 105). Furthermore, the physical abuse of women is celebrated in rap/hip-hop songs promoting “models of masculinity that sustain and encourage misogyny” (Cobb & Boettcher, 2007, p. 3026).italic text

The author orchestrates the citations through the development of the story. There is a lot of information given in this article, particularly in this paragraph, that are based upon facts that have been written out previous to this article being published. The author does a very good job at creating flow through their own voice and vocabulary usage. With the idea that this article is based upon facts that have previously been discovered, the citations are directly inserted into the article for use and better explainations of the topic at hand. The citations make for the audience to trust in what the author is saying, and also allows for the audience to understand that this article is based upon fact instead of opinion. It is very important to differentiate between opinion and fact in this particular topic, in which the author has done that very well.

The citations noted indicate the author has the facts to back up their opinion on the topic of degrading lyrics in hip hop and rap music. The way that the citations are directly inserted into the article show that the author has plenty to say without adding too much extra nonsense. It also shows that the author is trying to get the message out without overloading the reader with an abundance of random facts that prove nothing more than the author has done research. The author does a fantastic job at indicating the important facts, and backing all the facts up with citations.

Writing With Ease

Reber, Paek, & Weaver Lariscy – Public Relations Journal – Vol. 7, No. 2, 2013 – 131 processing (Grunig & Hunt, 1984). Grunig (1997) wrote: “people seldom seek information about situations that do not involve them. Yet, they will randomly process information about low- involvement situations, especially if they also recognize the situation as problematic” (p. 10). Knowing whether information is actively or passively processed is useful in public relations to help identify message strategy and medium of delivery.
Information processing (passive behavior) was initially measured by asking respondents to assign a numeric value to indicate “how likely you would be to pay attention to each of these stories after hearing the opening lines” (Grunig, 1997, p. 42). The more active information seeking was measured by asking respondents to assign a value in response to the question: “If you were to see an announcement offering each of the following free booklets, how likely would you be to call or send for it” (p. 43).
While the aforementioned study (i.e., Grunig, 1997) focused on asking about television in the processing measure and about print media in the seeking measure, in the rich media environment in which young adolescents now find themselves, a broader range of information sources – both mediated and interpersonal – are essential to measure.

In this PR Case study, there are many words defined. The definitions within this case study are defined to allow the audience to better understand the content, and to make the content flow more easily. With the content being complex, and the job of the public relations agent being to relay the message to the genera audience, it is important to break down any words that may be confusing to the public.

In this particular section of the article, the words, Information processing (passive behavior) and information seeking. Both of these words are very commonly used in the general writings and teachings of public relations. The words are defined immediately within the text. The quick definitions allow for the audience to keep up with the text.

The definitions are not specific to any general person, due to the idea that they are all common knowledge to the public relations world, as well as should become common knowledge to those who are reading public relations case studies.

Over Complicating Sentences

"The concept of processing as a passive behavior runs counter to literature in some other social scientific disciplines."

— The idea of processing as a passive behavior is different than many literary peices as well as the ideas within social scientific disciplines.

"Grunig’s operationalizations of situational theory are well-tested."

— Grunig's uses of situational theories have been tested and proven.

"These realities suggest that health issues would be fertile ground for testing links between situational theory of publics and race as a prospective antecedent."

— The facts show that health issues will be crucial points for testing links between situational theory of publics and race as a prospective antecedent.

The language throughout the text does not seem to be overly difficult (which is good for PR). However some of the research should had been "dumbed down" a bit for the general audience. It was clear that the author of the study was not able to break down the text to make it an easier read for the audience, nor were they able to make parts of the case study readable in cohesion to the rest of the case.

Writing Styles and Variances

Article Expert 1:
Toward the Establishment of Ethical Standardization in Public Relations Research, Measurement and Evaluation1

In a recent article, Michaelson and Stacks (2011) argued for the standardization of public relations measurement and evaluation. The authors averred that measurement and evaluation should move beyond a “best practices” orientation, which is methodological in nature, and move toward a standardization of measurement and evaluation, which is professional in nature, to create a level of consistency across the profession. In another article, Michaelson, Wright, and Stacks (in press) argue for standardization of public relations programming and campaigns. Similarly, Bowen (2010a) argued for a new public relations ethics paradigm. Her model distinguished between consequentialist (or utilitarian) and deontological (or principled) approaches to the ethical practice of public relations/corporate communication.2 The need for standards of public relations ethics, especially in terms of measurement and evaluation, follows Michaelson and Stacks’ line of reasoning based on a professional standard, and values acting as a true counseling function rather than simply as an advocate for whichever client is paying the bill.

Article Expert 2:
“It Depends on the Degree:” Exploring Employers’ Perceptions of Public Relations Master’s Degrees

Yet, the increasing number of professional public relations master’s programs advertised suggests that public relations master’s degrees are economically valuable to obtain. To systematically examine whether advanced public relations graduate education enhances employment opportunities, this research sought to learn how valuable senior level public relations industry employers perceived public relations graduate education to be. Using a grounded theory approach, we sought to start developing theory about why public relations industry employers might hold the perceptions that they do.

*When comparing the two articles, there are some similarities, yet many contrasts. The similarities commence between the writing styles and the dense nominal stature within the writing. The articles are clearly written differently, with different personal styles of writing. The second paragraph is speaking to a very different audience, one that is wanting facts about their future public relations degrees and education. The first article is based a lot more upon research and proving/arguing their own point of view. The first article is written towards a current public relations specialist that wants to know more about their ethical decisions.

Both articles use a lot of professional writing, and make efforts to elaborate well to their audience. Both articles are written by more than one author, therefore the language is very specific, yet very vague in text. They use a lot of PR “common talk”, of which many people outside of the profession would struggle to understand. However, for this purpose, the writing serves well for the professional audience likely obtained from the website.

Knowledge-Making Cues

This article is mostly qualitative due to its information and communication nature. With this being said, there are a few facts and figures later published that allow for a skeptic to claim this article as a mix of quantitative and qualitative research. Most of the time in the world of public relations, marketing and business, there will be a harmonious tie between qualitative research being presented and quantitative research being shown.

In this article, the method statement does use agentless expressions. There are very little uses of person testimony, but instead more uses of presenting the general research and findings. In this article, I believe it would be harmful to add personal testimony into the data. This is due to the information about Wikipedia being presented in a fashion that is supposed to state a view of personal disconnect, and more general knowledge.

Limiting/Modal Expressions:
“Therefore, it is often
suggested that people “read Wikipedia cautiously and amend it enthusiastically” as Nature
advised (2005, p. 590).”

“Unfortunately, due to the ‘bright line’ rule or conflict of interest policy, public relations and
communications professionals are prohibited from directly contributing to the Wikipedia articles
for their company or clients.”

“Since the beginning of January 2012, efforts have gone into trying to understand, clarify and
even change Wikipedia’s stance against public relations/communications professionals and the
editing of Wikipedia articles for their company or clients.”

These expressions are functioning in the article because of their expressive uses towards the research. The expressions make great use of the research, and tend to show the audience a bit more information in a different light.

"Perceptions of Wikipedia by Public Relations Professionals: A
Comparison of 2012 and 2013 Surveys"

Introductions and Conclusions

Is Ghost Blogging Like Speechwriting? A Survey of
Practitioners About the Ethics of Ghost Blog

Based on the support of 71.1% of the public relations practitioners in our online
survey (total n=291), there is a general consensus in favor of undisclosed organizational
ghost blogging, provided that the ideas for the content come from the stated author and
the stated author gives content approval. Moreover, about half of the practitioners in our
sample who had organizational blogs (53.7%) indicated that the blogs were not written
by their stated authors. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the practice is not
necessarily ethical just because many practitioners believe it is and just because many
practitioners are engaging in it. This study explores reasons to support undisclosed
organizational ghost blogging and reasons to reject it, so practitioners can make an
informed decision until more research can be conducted to determine whether audience
deception is occurring and to determine whether radical transparency provides a
strategic advantage with regard to ghost blogging disclosure.

A pressing question for public relations practitioners to consider is how effective
undisclosed ghost blogging is (a question raised by Paine, n.d.) and whether a
ghostwritten blog could be more effective than it would otherwise be by including a
disclosure statement like the ones modeled in the literature review by Fleet (2009) and
Holtz (2011). Experimental design research is needed to discover the effectiveness of
radical transparency by comparing respondents’ reactions to a ghostwritten blog with a
disclosure statement versus a ghostwritten blog without one.
Until an audience survey and experimental design research is accomplished, public
relations practitioners can weigh the arguments for and against undisclosed
organizational ghost blogging, and they consider the alternatives to this practice, which
are offered in this study.//
The writing in the conclusion and the introduction are very similar. They contrast each other very well in the sense that both sections speak about the topic at hand and essential recap the entirety of the article. The expressions are similar in the introduction and conclusion, and tie together well when it comes to linkage between the phrases.

The conclusion is largely geared towards the bloggers of who are engaging in ghost writing. This article does a fantastic job at getting the message out to the audience of which is most effected by ghost blogging and such similar acts. This does limit the audience awareness by not engaging any general audience. This could be harmful due to the nature of the article, and the force for change the article has attempted to erupt.

Summary of Good Academic writing in Marketing Communication

My original paper was a Marketing/Business/Management plan based on the United Kingdom's highstreet bank called, "Metro Bank". This marketing plan executes different strategies and objectives to help Metro Bank increase revenue, and expand further into the UK markets. Overall, this paper identifies key markets, rationalizes the different uses of objectives and strategies, and conclusively, comes up with compelling arguements as to how the bank can become more well known.

Good writing in my research journal varies signinfacntly from article to article. The beautiful aspect to communication style writing is that there really is no "right" or "wrong", there is simply, what pertains to your case. The biggest aspect to good writing in my journal would be the way the author is able to speak to the audience. The language must change a bit to make sure it is not "overly complicated" towards a general audience, yet on the other hand, must make sure the language does not offend an "expert" that is coming across the article. The writing styles will also change from formal to informal dependent on the type of case being analyzed. In my situation, for instance, I must speak clearly in a business professional tone that allows a helping, knowledgable hand, versus a snide, overly confident remark.

I have tried to meet the standards of writing by identifying the target audience, and speaking to them in a way that they are able to understand. By using "business" language, the audience is able to see my credibility towards the subject and is able to follow along well. I also have been able to show facts and figures, which help for the audience to collect their own data and follow along to use the information in the correct forms.

Forbes Magazine

The chosen audience for this magazine is a general audience that is interested in different aspects of business. This audience will have a decent working knowledge of the business world, and the make ups of the genre. The audience will also have an interest in reading on various components of the current business world. This will be done so by gaining and accessing knowledge, or by seeking out more information on the current situations in the genre.

This article is somewhat similar to mine in the idea that the audience will have to have a general thought on the ideas and concepts at hand. In this article, the reader would have to have a working knowledge of the Obama Care and must have a desire to learn more about different aspects of this bill.

This is a good publication venue for my project because it gives me a general audience to target, but keeps the target audience in a range that will understand the general concepts of my case.

Project 2 Revision Plan

I used Forbes Magazine as my publication. This publication allows me to centralize my general audience into an audience that has an interest in business. With this being said, I will be able to target my audience and tailor the marketing plan into a general idea and rule of thumb for the audiences summary.

This magazine/journal also allows for suitable knowledge of marketing plans, the banking systems, stock interests, and good utilities connected with banking. This being the said arguments, it is good that my audience will have knowledge of a good working business. With some background in the business industry, I should be able to connect my ideas with their thoughts, and explain the concepts well through vocabulary and rationale.

I will have to change the style up a bit. In general, I felt as though anyone with a background in business should understand the general concepts in the marketing plan. It is written out in fairly simple marketing terms. However, I will have to provide some examples and definitions to assure my audience understands how to put the concepts in play.

Last Project

For my last publication, I will be developing a new layout prototype for the information given. I will be creating charts, and figures to portray the information given within the actual marketing plan.

My audience for this will be business savvy. They will have a general knowledge of how to read a marketing plan, and how the plan can be implemented. They will also have a working knowledge of where facts and figures can be placed. Though this piece will be a lot more reader friendly, the marketing knowledge must be known before looking and placing the ideas within the project.

My purpose is to inform and persuade the audience to use this marketing plan.

I will use both of the previous forms of work in this final piece. There will be a lot less words used in my final piece, with more facts and figures. This piece will be challenging in the idea that I am incorporating both knowledge bases from the previous works, and putting the content into one, easier to read model.

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