The Manifestation of Sexual Repression, Gender in Popular Music: A Case Study on Katy Perry

Fei Jia


Michel Foucault had discussed that the repression of sexuality was a manipulation of ideology by dominant group. He stated that sexual repression was nothing but a hypothesis that allowed the agencies of power (bourgeoisies, or males) to verbalize sexuality to satisfy their pleasures and desires. On the other hand, women repression has been long existed in popular music culture. The empowerment and independence of women, therefore, became a breakthrough in the history of popular music. However, the author made an assumption that the repressive hypothesis also occurred in this music-gender context. This paper critically analyzed Katy Perry’s hit single “Teenage Dream” by applying Foucault’s statements in finding the implication of the women repressive hypothesis. The study showed that the traditional context of sexual repression has been transferred to a masculinity-femininity conflict where the repression of womenwas only a hypothesis, raising a conclusionthat the liberation of women in popular music is the pleasures of the patriarchy.


Repression of sexuality; Patriarchy; Repressive hypothesis; Popular music

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