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St. Michael's College Courses
Michael Petit

CULTURAL ANALYSIS - Culture is what human beings produce and means by which we preserve what we produce - Historical View—High Culture, only for the rich o Today, culture is much more broad o Artifacts are more broad than the physical (not just physical objects) • Example: music Culture is Physical, Social, Attitudinal, and Historical—it changes over time “Structure of Feeling” expresses what it is like to live in our time IDEOLOGY – What is it? Ideology is the sets of beliefs underlying the customs, habits, and practices common to a given culture. To members of that culture, the beliefs seem obviously true, natural, and universally applicable. They may seem just as obviously arbitrary, idiosyncratic, and false to those who adhere to another ideology. Within any culture, numerous ideologies coexist. IDEOLOGY - What does it do? - Guides thinking process - Limits the range of acceptable ideas that a person may consider within a particular cultural context. Promotes and legitimates certain perspectives and values while obscuring or devaluing others. (I.e. political parties – provides its members with ideology that limits interpretation and helps them distinguish between right and wrong) - Normalizes: makes things seem normal—“that’s just the way it is” - Privileges: prioritizes needs of some over others. Informally confirms that perspectives, qualities or needs of socially powerful groups are more important or valid than those of socially dominated groups. - Interpellates: individuals are social subjects (ex. Education and University System) o Shows that there are hierarchies in today’s society o We are so surrounded by ideology o We become ideology → we are inevitably a part of the system How does it do it? - Myth—sacred story or “Type of speech”; class story of “the hero” → repeatedly said and creates an ideology and makes mythological content seem “natural” (I.e. Super Mario Brothers - heroism, bravery and masculinity all central to American ideological formations) - Doxa—common sense or taken for granted. Knowledge “which is beyond question and which agent implicitly accords by the mere fact of acting in accord with social convention” - Hegemony— Willing assent. When one ideology subverts other competing ideologies and gains cultural dominance. Gramsi characterizes hegemony as willing assent or spontaneous consent (I.e working class doesn’t revolt because they actually consent to being dominated by the ideologies of privileged groups) IDEOLOGY & SOCIAL CLASS (1) Social Class—division of society to “haves” and “have-nots.” The term ‘have-nots’
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