Staying Fearless: A Text Analysis of Vulnerability & Connection Through Taylor Swift's Artistry

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2020-05

Authors

Byelousova, Anastasiya

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Abstract

Taylor Swift stands out as one of the top celebrities of our time: In the course of thirteen years, she has risen to global superstardom and developed a loyal fanbase. Yet, despite all this fame, many Swifties (her fans) consider her a role model, and more so, a friend. The core of Swift’s work and of her public persona lies in her music, specifically in her songwriting. Having released seven studio albums, Swift has primary songwriting credit on every one of her songs. Swift’s ability to capture the essence of our shared humanity sets her apart from other artists. How are female artists able to connect with their audiences on such intimate levels? This is the question this paper seeks to answer.

By conducting a text analysis of Swift’s lyrics, I want to identify themes across her work and place them in the context of Brené Brown’s Rising Strong Process: 1) The Reckoning – walking into our story, 2) The Rumble – owning our story, and 3) The Revolution – writing a new ending and changing how we engage with the world, which allows us to embrace our experiences and come out stronger. This directly explores vulnerability and the resulting connection with an audience.

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