ANTH 3240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Bourgeoisie, Ruling Class, Slut
Lecture Seven: The Slut/The Stud
October 26, 2011
The process by which the set of values or beliefs that bind individuals become
Beliefs and values are not natural or inherent.
-They come out of a cultural history
Ideologies tend to hide or mask the actual history that the values and beliefs
come out of.
The Good Whore/The Bad Whore
For many women, it is an economic reality that they must resort to prostitution in
order to make money. There are two different types: the good whore and the bad
The “Good” Whore - seen as perhaps a smart girl who has made wrong
choices, or who is trying to pay their way through school ect. This type of whore
usually white, hypersexualized, and higher class (such as a high paid escort or
The “Bad” Whore - seen as a women of which there is something wrong with,
and this is her only way to make money. Usually of lower class, and of an ethnic
Where Does the Sale of Sex Become Prostitution?
Prostitution is the selling of sex and one’s body in order to make money. By this
definition, there are many people in different industries who may be considered
to be “prostitutes”
In the entertainment industry, artists pose naked or use their bodies to sell
artwork, albums, magazine covers ect.
-When does this become prostitution?
Also, women who pose for Playboy or other magazines/publications where they
are naked are essentially selling their bodies as well.
-Does this count as prostitution?
The “Slut” Label
A slut is typically known to refer to a female who has had sex with many different
-It was determined that other girls, many of which have never even had sex were
-Poor girls, girls who dress a certain way, girls who have been sexually abused,
girls who have developed early ect
It was found that girls who were labelled this often would become sexually
promiscuous and essentially live up to the label, even if they had not been this
way before. It is easier to fit the reputation than fight it.
Hegemony - an explanation of how ideologies get digested and lived by masses
Hegemony is the domination of one social class over another by means of
persuasion, coercion and eventual consent of the dominated, without the use of
-The dominant class projects its way of seeing and valuing the world on the
class it dominates
-Ruling class ideas and values seem normal and part of the natural order of
Through values of cooperation and equality of income, the bourgeoisie
hegemony could be overcome by the working class hegemony.
-The bourgeoisie focus mostly on capitalism, making money ect
Slut-Bashing as Hegemony
It is considered a way to keep the behavior of women under control
-Using one or two women as examples for what happens when actual or
perceived shortcomings in their actions
-What is done to one woman is a lesson for all women
Encoding and Decoding
Frameworks of knowledge, relations of production and technical infrastructure
lead to encoding (meaning structures 1) which leads to the program as
From this meaningful discourse comes decoding (meaning structures 2), which
depends on the frameworks of knowledge, relations of production and technical
Encoding is the implementation of ideas and concepts into mass media.
Decoding is the way the viewer interprets the ideas and concepts that they are
-It gives credit to the viewer. We are allowed to look at media with a more critical
eye instead of just accepting everything that is just handed to us
Most mass media gives out social identities, often which we accept as our own
Continuum of Possible Reading Positions
Dominant Position (hegemonic) - your reading is consistent with the
hegemonic way in which it was produced (the intended meaning). This is also
called he preferred reading.
Negotiated Position - on a general level, the viewer accepts the legitimacy of
the dominant position, but on a personal level may not support it or offer reasons
why it does not work in their case
Oppositional Position (counter-hegemonic) - understand what the position
is, but you reject it and read in in light of a completely different position.