03 Powers and Representation.docx

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Communication, Culture and Technology
Neil Narine

03 Powers and Representation Overview  Martha Stewart tells people how to conduct oneself, there are manner coaches, and there are ways people accept discourses. We accept these discourses in our lives, often without acknowledging it Agenda  Hall: Language to Discourse  Barthes and Myth  Discourse, Knowledge and Power  Who has the power to „represent‟?  Orientalism (Edward Said)  The Makeover TV “Subject” (i.e. subject to someone else‟s control) Few Issues  Language becomes discourses. Discourse is slightly a different term. Health discourses have changed as well. There are questions about discourses these days. Think about Power  VIDEO: Did Simon Cowl go too far? o It is interesting that there is a lot of support from the audience, however the panel of experts had validated musical knowledge and thus they are the powers.  What do popular media tell us about POWER? o If someone trying to audition on these shows, they need to be initiated. There is also an enactment of power, which comes from the panel of experts. The experts have the power to make decisions for them.  This is similar to religion. Pastors and priests say that citizens need them into order to access the bible and higher power. Review  2 Levels of meaning  Denotative meaning – what does it literally designate (tree, rock, house, car)  Connotative meaning – what does it bring to mind (nature, steadiness, comfort, mobility) o In these spaces, we insert meaning in cultural signifiers. When we create this meaning, we also insert power for the signifiers as well o For example, the name Lucifer is condemned in Quebec because they believe it will bring the child hard Hall: Language to Discourse But where do the connotative meanings come from?  Hall says: Discourses o Discourses are the wider language formations that generate meaning and situate certain practices (Hall, 51) o i.e. Mohammad comes from its own religion and is extremely revered in that religion. Mohammad is the prophet and founder. Therefore, this name will not be banned Panzani Pasta‟s “Italianness”  The discourse that is attached to this is the Italianness o What we think it is to be Italian o We buy into this Italianness and want to participate this what we believe to be authentic o We see this signifying a whole nation, and thus become excited about the product Jaguar‟s “Englishness”  Playing golf was invented in the north in Scotland, thus green pastures are associated to Britain  The flat greenness and farmland are also ones we associate with England  We can also say that Jaguar is a distinction, since people who have leisure time pursue golf. o Jaguar has additional meaning because of its class society. They were very clear about these things  The use of commoner, and uncommon to the British would have another level of meaning Bob and Doug‟s “Canadianness”  They drink their Canadian beer, and sit and watch hockey which is believed to be a very Canadian activity  Every second word that they use is an „eh‟  VIDEO: The Great White North o Rustic wood table, large boxes of Canadian on the side o They have their Tooke‟s and eat muffs Roland Barthes and Myth  Roland Barthes (1915-1980) says: myths are behind accepted statements and advertisements alike  For us to accept these things as our ideas about our country are signifiers about the nation  VIDEO: The Maple Leaf on the 20 Dollar Bill o Some people think because the species is different, and are up and arms that it is a transplanted maple o They might want to keep it consistent because they want to keep their culture in place with the influx of immigration and the American culture  We may want to protect our own cultures  VIDEO: Africanized Bees o “The kindler gentler European bees”, getting at the idea of invasion o Neighborhoods with group coming in  An analogy for a type of discourse about power  Myths are discourses that have cemented over time to seem natural to us, but they are not “true” o You cannot predict these things o There are genetic testing nowadays that see if they have dominant genes to diseases o However, the discourse around us have been present for so long and thus we start to believe in them Discourse, Knowledge and Power Myths Wield Power  From “myth” (Barthes) to “power” (Foucault)  Michael Foucault (1926-1984) o Gay man living in Catholic France. Ended up being the early victims of aids o He lived a life when that was not very easy. He had these amazing insights into power and how knowledge operates o French philosopher of power/institutions helps us understand how power is enacted on us in  Knowledge production  Figures who say they have access to power. Places such as schools, hospita
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