PCUL 1F92 Lecture Notes - Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Essentialism

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Published on 17 Nov 2011
PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-1-11
Gender & Discourse
Monkeying Around with Friends
Roland Barthes
Meanings “are partial to the values and belief systems of the society
from whence they came”.
Careful analysis can reveal to us these values.
Michel Foucault
Defined it as the way in which speech and writing work to shape social
o“How the world is told to us” (Professor Henderson).
We can include media forms and their methods of communication.
Plus other non-mediated communication.
Knowledge and Power
Knowledge is constituted through relations of power.
What counts as knowledge is dictated by those in power.
We might think to debates over the role of a University education.
oShould it skills based or should it generate thinkers?
For our concerns with “Friends” we can ask ‘Does something like a TV
show have power?”.
oHow do we understand our culture – it’s values, beliefs, etc.?
TV: Which way does most of the power flow?
Media Ownership
Styles, genres, programming, advertising, etc.
PVR, online viewing, independent production, uploading
material etc.
Control through access, technology, economics (who has the most
money), and regulation.
Allows those with control and power to shape how we see and
understand the world.
All of this, then, becomes a form of knowledge.
Can we equate popular culture with science, medicine or law?
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