Beyoncé: From Media Product to Black Feminist?

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The topic of this MA thesis is the evolvement of Beyoncé’s artistry from a media product to a Black activist. The main research question is: to what extent can the artistry of Beyoncé be considered feminist and how has this feminist agenda developed over time? Answering this question will help establish an analysis of Beyoncé’s evolvement as a feminist. This is a relevant topic since Beyoncé is an iconic artist who could potentially use her position to address matters of feminism and racial inequality. However, while Beyoncé openly identifies herself as feminist and plays with the imagery of Black activism, a number of scholars argue that this is merely to make a profit. This thesis would like to challenge these arguments by showing the potential of Beyoncé’s music to start a conversation on feminism and racial equality. After outlining the core concepts in a theoretical framework, this thesis will present an audiovisual analysis of a selection of music videos. Based on the analysis of these videos I will identify recurring audiovisual patterns which will be applied to an audiovisual performance analysis of the same songs in my final chapter to see to what extent these patterns are enhanced or contradicted.
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