My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore: A Rhetorical Analysis of Identification in Taylor Swift's folklore Album




Riojas, Victoria

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Over the course of her career, Taylor Swift has moved effortlessly across genres and continues to innovate the music industry. She recently became the only artist in history to win Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards four times, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Through all her accomplishments, there is one group of people she never forgets to acknowledge: her fans. Musicians are a unique type of celebrity when it comes to connecting with their fans due to their vulnerability and media presence as purely themselves. The rhetoric of identification plays a crucial role in creating a strong fandom culture and in strengthening parasocial relationships between fans and musicians. Through generative rhetorical criticism, this project sought to understand how identification is accomplished in the lyrics of Taylor Swift's folklore album. Major themes found within the album are fear, sorrow, innocence, reflection, and perseverance. For each theme I provide my interpretation of lyrics that best exemplify the theme, consider how the interpretations might resonate with other listeners, and how they resonate with me as a means to understand how identification is woven into the lyrics. Through this analysis, I found that Taylor's use of narrative as a rhetorical device is the driving force in folklore's lyrics that fosters identification.



Identification, Lyric analysis, Popular culture, Rhetoric, Taylor Swift