Situated within contemporary debates about language,
ideology and the media, this thesis represents an attempt
to try out and develop recent approaches to language within
social psychology, and to argue that popular radio can be understood as ideological in several respects.
Attempting to forge a position between marxism and post structuralism, the thesis argues that discourse analysis
should eschew a total relativist position and/Should adopt
a critical definition of ideology, which sees ideology as
maintaining assymetrical power relations.
The thesis consists of a detailed analysis of disc jockeys'
on-air talk on BBC Radio One, looking at how particular
views of the world are constructed and maintained by disc
jockeys in their patter, and at how relations of inequality are brought off as natural and inevitable
The research also analyses several interviews with
broadcasters, examining the way they see their role and
their audience, and looking in particular at the centrality
of constructions of gender.
Finally the research examines the accounts of disc jockeys
and Programme Controllers for the lack of women in popular
radio, highlighting the flexibility of sexism and drawing
attention to features of the accounts offered which would
have been ignored by more traditional approaches.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.