ENGL104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Dialectical Materialism, Dialectic, Main Source

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2 Aug 2016

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11th Class: Neo-Marxist Perspective
Isn’t as concerned exclusively with language, but is a broader way of describing our
motivation as a society
focuses on capitalism
oprivate owners for profit
otrade and industry
Main source of inequality is structural
oBuilt into a way that a system is designed to function
oMeans of Production: owned by the upper class elements of society
The worker is shut out of participating in this, they must instead sell their
time (work) for food/money/shelter
oExploitation of Labour: unfairness of exploiting the worker for profit
Hegel had a theory about history called dialectic – everything has an equal and opposite
Dialectical Materialism: theory of Marx that offers a representation of history and a
change in regime, also materialistic because the key is always economic structure
Base: superstructure
oWho makes the food, who owns the means of production?
Base of a society
oSuperstructure is all other aspects: art, cultural production
oSuperstructure is viewed in terms of the base
False Consciousness: idea that anyone with any other idea that isn’t the means of
production etc. is wrong (eg. we are being influenced by the capitalists)
oMarriage (cultural institution)
Social control, average lifestyle
Train workers, expected now, hoping to insert ourselves in the upper
Investing capital in yourself
Sites of struggle is a good place to start for this type of analysis
oMost interesting to him is to show how a text does both types of readings
oPreferred reading: how are these assumptions embedded/how do they structure
the text
oOppositional Reading: how the elements of the text challenges the cultural
Hegemony: group ideology that portrays something as normal (racial and gender based)
cite the show the first time mentioned, then leave it
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