Bro Country: Creating a New Image of Country Music

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Bro Country: Creating a New Image of Country Music




Over the years country music has changed a lot through the development of new sounds, shifting ideas, and new audiences, leading to many new subgenres within the larger musical genre. "Bro-country" is one of these alleged new subgenres, and it has seen a lot of commercial and crossover success in recent years. In this paper, I introduce how a genre is traditionally defined and then present why "bro-country" is indeed considered its own subgroup of the country music genre. I then discuss how a new image of country music is created through this subgenre and how it differs from the image that is often perceived by fans and outside parties. Through analyzing this image, it is possible to see how it has influenced perceptions of country music in the context of recent events, particularly that of the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on October 1st 2017. Overall, I argue that bro-country is a subgenre of country music, and that the image criticized in the wake of the shootings is based on an image that is represented by only a small minority, most of whom are not considered "bro-country" within the large genre of country music, and many artists have actually attempted to distance themselves from this image.


Van Swol, Katelyn


Senior Showcase Oral presentation


Ripon College


April 17, 2018


The author reserves all rights.




Majors: Communication, English
Racine, WI
CMM 505: Rhetorical Criticism - Senior Thesis


Bro-Country_ Creating a New Image of Country Music.pdf


Van Swol, Katelyn, “Bro Country: Creating a New Image of Country Music,” Senior Showcase Digital Collection, accessed March 21, 2023,

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