• Malene Majdall Moesgaard Ludvigsen
4. semester, Musik (cand.mag.), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The concept of self promotion is not a new phenomenon and is most likely a way for humans to
evolve and understand themselves. At least since the 20th Century, the term has been related to
the exposure of famous persons due to the influence of electronic mass media.
My interest in this field has been to examine to which degree the Scottish female singer Eddi
Reader uses self promotion and in what way this relates to her music. I have used Allan Moores
controversial authenticity theory (asking who instead of what is being authenticated) as the
point of departure for this thesis in order to discuss how authenticity is an important key in the
understanding of self promotion. Furthermore the theories of Anthony Giddens and Thomas
Ziehe have given me a significant approach to understanding the individual’s need to be self
reflective because of the meaninglessness we experience as part of the modern society.
I have argued that Reader in her solo carrier has moved from being a pop orientated
artist to being a folk orientated artist. This has been manifested in her physical and musical
transformation moving; from an alternative and experimental expression to a more mature,
impulsive and intimate one. This transformation has become clear to me through the analyses of
two different songs and music videos (Joke (I’m Laughing) and Roses), Reader’s increasing use of
interactive and social media, and the ascertainment of Reader’s more present use of geno-song,
which is accompanied by her expressive physical performance gestures.
Her many personal struggles throughout the 1990th seem to have given her music more integrity
and at the same time been generating authenticity in connection with her passionate and present
way of life.
Reader is a reflective individual who wants to be considered as a down-to-earth
authentic person. But can someone who is reflective towards their own authenticity be
considered as authentic? In continuation of Ziehe’s description of how we attempt to orientate
ourselves culturally, Reader’s search of authenticity can instead be seen as social uncertainty.
This can be seen through her longing for expressiveness and striving towards
intimacy in her performance and in her need of maintaining close relations, manifested in her use
of interactive and social media.
However, if we all are searching for things that can fill out the
meaninglessness in our lives, as Ziehe and Giddens concludes, then the self’s reflective process
must be seen as common, and the desire to be authentic will therefore probably not be
experienced as inauthentic. In this context, I find Wendy Doniger’s assumption highly useful. She
points out that we are not always aware of when we are trying to show a version of ourselves as
we think people expect us to be in private or public. We are never ourselves only for ourselves,
but always in relation to others. In other words, there are no central self, but many selves
interacting with each other.
By means of these theories we are able to see the thought of Reader as self promoted in a different light.
I find it reasonable to say that Reader’s musical carrier can be seen as a projection of her inner
personal conflict and her strive towards the search for a meaningful life. But I also stress the
importance of noticing that she is most likely aware of her dependency on her audience and that
she has taken this into account by keeping a close relationship to her fans which both sides benefit
I conclude that Reader most likely intentionally attempts to promote the selves that she wish
should define her as a singer and person, and therefore potentially unconsciously misrepresent
who she really is, or rather covers the other selves she possesses. This is probably not far from
what we all do without finding ourselves more inauthentic for that reason.
It seems that Reader has been able to keep a touch of former Diva qualities in her expressive and
dramatic manner combined with the down-to-earth, mother-of-two person she also is. It might be
because of this almost irreconcilable approach that she in particular appears authentic, as ‘The
Diva Next Door’.
Udgivelsesdato1 dec. 2010
Antal sider122


ID: 41283974