PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-1-11
Gender & Discourse
Monkeying Around with Friends
• 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.
o Should it skills based or should it generate thinkers?
• For our concerns with “Friends” we can ask ‘Does something like a TV
show have power?”.
o How do we understand our culture – it’s values, beliefs, etc.?
TV: Which way does most of the power flow?
Styles, genres, programming, advertising, etc.
PVR, online viewing, independent production, uploading
• 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? PCUL1F92 Section 1: Tuesday, November-1-11