The ideology of cultural classification
The ordering of experience in language is evident in classification systems
• The “being” of things is related to how we attribute meaning to them
• Meaning is shaped by how we relate things to each other, categorise
them, differentiate them, etc.
• Meaning is grounded in culturally specific classification systems
• Such systems differ between cultures – but also between members of a
society according to its internal divisions
They are political where they are hierarchical & where a dominant meaning
reflects the interests of a specific group
E.g., how do we define intelligence? Ketchup – condiment or vegetable?
Our answers to these questions point to the politics of signification, which
we’ll consider in connection with the critical tradition Relationships and Groups