Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis project endeavors to define the predominant rhetorical messages of MTV. MTV has made a drastic impact upon the media field, the youth culture, and the world. By use of a cluster analysis, I have suggested some of the overriding themes propagated.

I have approached this by dividing the thesis into three sections. Section I provides an overview by looking at some of the research previously conducted on MTV. It examines the history, a brief look at the content, and the responses to MTV.

Section II is the substantive portion of the project sharing the results and findings from the cluster analysis. Each of the five most frequent and intense images and clusters are fleshed out in a chapter respectively.

Finally, Section III serves to draw some conclusions from the cluster analysis presented in Section II. Based upon the information revealed through the clusters, and with the help of some further research of others' findings in relation to youth and MTV, the final chapter comments on the role of MTV in the value formation of contemporary youth.

MTV's celebration of its tenth anniversary brought many "decade specials" as well as numerous articles and documentaries analyzing the decade. In seeking to be as objective messages teenagers. as possible, I have set forth to critique the being communicated to MTV's primary audience,


A Rhetorical-Critical Study of MTV's First Decade and its Relative Impact Upon American Youth Culture