Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

American Studies

Major Professor

Maria Cizmic, Ph.D.


Hegemony, Girl Talk, Consumer Empowerment, Remix, Copyright


This thesis critiques contemporary scholarly approaches to the modern musical mashup that rely on outdated and over-generalized Marxist frameworks. These frameworks stem from an Adornian view of the culture industries that places consumers and producers in distinct and opposing roles. The mashup is therefore seen as little more than a subversive weapon for a resistant consumer class in its fight against the hegemonic structure of the mass media. A case study of the prominent mashup artist Girl Talk is presented to illustrate how the mashup can actually function as a celebratory form and how modern technological advances have destabilized traditional distinctions between consumer and producer. These technological advances, primarily the rise of the personal computer and the Internet, have empowered many consumers to engage with and create their own media. In the process, they have forced a cultural negotiation among existing ideological forces that reflects a dynamic and ever-changing hegemonic process.