Twitter Audience Analysis By: Grace Harter

Day After CMAs:

For my audience analysis over tweets from twitter I chose to watch the CMA Awards and watch the live twitter feeds at the same time.  The CMA Awards took place on Wednesday at 8pm.  At first, I was shocked by all of the tweets because they were relatively nice and appreciative of the singers and their talents.  However, as the show kept going on I noticed that people started tweeting and making fun of one of the singers because he wore a scarf…yes a scarf… Along with this, since the CMAs did a skit on Obamacare, people were up in arms about that too.  Through the various live tweets and the tweets from the day after the CMA awards, blatant stereotyping, racism, and political ideologies were present.  Many tweets referred to country singers as having a specific “look.”  The typical stereotype of a country star consists of blue jeans, flannel shirts, a hat, and sunglasses.  It is supposed to be an “effortless” look.  According to Dyer, this stereotyping is used as a short cut for people to categorize others (Dyer 14).  Along with these categorizations being present, the stereotypical “country” person is white, has politically conservative beliefs, is a hard, blue-collar worker, and is patriotic toward his or her country.  People in their tweets were mentioning how “there are only three black people at the CMAs” and “how many times do you think ‘colored’ and ‘queer’ were used at the CMAs?” These statements do not only exemplify stereotyping, but they also exemplify racism and heterosexism.  The problem is that because of stereotyping, people are categorized to have specific beliefs .  Dyer’s emphasis on the causal relationship that is between representation and reality is vividly clear at this point.  This is because how we are seen determines how we are treated (Dyer 1).  With this being said, because the stereotypes of country singers and “country” people are so blatant and set within a specific boundary, they are only seen in a specific way.  McIntosh’s theory on white privilege definitely is evident when reading these tweets and examining the “country” image. White privilege is what allowed the CMAs to mock Obamacare and what makes the confederate flag being waved around at concerts socially acceptable. Going along with this, overt racism is apparent in these tweets because people are blatantly commenting on the fact that there were 3 black people at the CMAs in a sarcastic and narcissistic manner.  White privilege is apparent in this situation.  McIntosh would have a field day with these tweets because white privilege is the basis of the whole “country image.”  Linked with stereotyping that people who listen to and sing country are white, there is always a negative connotation when “colored” people are brought up or are being represented.  This is in turn, exemplifies a double bind.  On the other side of the spectrum, people who enjoy country music are not always viewed as representing “white privilege” because instead, they are viewed as representing “white trash.”  Many tweets listed above exemplify this stereotype.  It was very interesting to see people’s responses the day after the CMA awards.  People were a lot more critical and harsh.

Works Cited:

Dyer, Richard. “Introduction.” The Matter of Images: Essays on Representation. New York: Routledge,
1993. 1-5. Print.

               McIntosh, Peggy. “White privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Peace and Freedom (July/August 1989), 9-10;    repr.                in Independent School, 49 (1990), 31–35.

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