04 Representing the Other.docx

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Communication, Culture and Technology
Neil Narine

04 Representing "the Other" Overview  Last week we discussed power. It sets us up for this week‟s representation of the other  Psychiatry, reality TV, etc. are all dividing people into the over. Even the most benevolent makeovers are trying to say “don't be the other, conform!” Recap: Knowledge and Power  Remember Last Week: o Representations can be used by the dominant group to justify their dominance (hegemonic representation) o Representations of the Other overwhelmingly serve this purpose o The main argument about the image that it exerts power. France had colonized Algeria  There is a common wealth for colonies  They were involved in a war in the 60s to keep Algeria as part of their colony  It shows a loyal Algerian soldier who is still royal to France – Algeria is still loyal to France as a colonizer nation. It shows a loyal African colonized subject supposable saluting the French flag o In our own context, Native groups this moment still feel colonized. This would be the same in Canada if a native person is saluting the Canadian flag, if Harper is cutting funding for some of the reserved lands Knowledge and the other  Psychiatry is a discourse (represents the insane Other)  Criminology is a discourse (represents the criminal Pther) o Whether to test the DNA of the shooter who shot the elementary students. They wanted to test if he contains a gene that is supposedly a predisposition for violence – people believe that people who have an anomaly in their genes can exhibit violence o They say if they have this gene, it would all be genetics o The other problem is stigmatization. If people also had the same genes, they would be stigmatized for having this gene and thinking you might be bad o This is similar to Django and measuring skulls  Anthropology/Ethnography is a discourse (represents the human, but often the human Other) Hall: What is a Museum?  According to Stuart Hall, museums may be problematic of depicting the other  1. A “mythological setting…inhabited by the muses” (115) o Amuse us, artists have a muse to inspire them to work  2. A “cabinet of curiosities” meant to satisfy the visitor‟s curiosity”  John Tradescant, UK botanist, built an influential museum in 1628 exhibiting natural and artificial objects (we might say natural history and art today) o We divide things quite distinctly today such as museum of civilization, museum for arts, etc.  Museums have 4 main elements (Hall 159): o 1. Representation – of human customs and things o 2. Classification – of human customs and things according to those who wield knowledge o 3. Motivation – to teach others, to address an audience  Museums are normally about teaching spaces o 4. Interpretation – to apply a worldview to the people and objects displayed  Realm of academia, critics, how are the exhibits staged  VIDEO: Black Robe o Even the narration uses “inhospitable” and “savage” people o The film is about questioning what the Jesuit priest knows about the world, Iroquois believe in spirits and therefore what would he know Ethnography  Ethno = people/race/nation  Graphy = writing/description  Typically, ethnography was performed by Western explorers who wanted to write (graphy) about foreign people (ethno) and customs  Crawford Meets the Sobo Tribe 1890s o Classic colonial setting. The unfortunate result is that there are really bad writing about people being less civilized based on appearances  Jean Rought, 1960s – Cine-ethnography o They kept narrating that there is progress throughout the Nairobi area  “Produce certain kinds of representations” o Not based on natural distinctions but cultural assumption
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