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SOSC 3992 Lecture Notes - Tral, Biblical Literalism, United States Senate Special Committee To Investigate Crime In Interstate Commerce

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 3992
Allyson Lunny

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Stuart Hall: Representation & the Media DVD
Lecture #1
Trails impose social order
But not always true b/c not everyone adheres to particular social order
Popular trial = attempt to impose social order
Pg 22 when thinking about the popular trials, many discourses of pop trial have
generic characteristics. (it’s a staging + demonstration of law + a conflict between
state/person + the language used)
Allows + constrains how community defines itself
Stuart Hall Film
Cultural Studies: central concept = representation – depiction of something is
accurate or created
An image can have many different meanings, no guarantee images will work as
we want
Communication by media holds most power in society
Knowledge + power intercept
“Interrogation” of image, criticize
Representation & The Media
“Representation”: word carries the meaning that something was already there
The way in which meaning is given in depiction
The meaning that it is giving is a distortion of what it really is
There will never be only one interpretation of an event
Representation doesn’t capture the process
True meaning depends on what ppl make of it and it depends on how its
Representation of the event is not after the event but within the event
Culture is a way we make sense of things around us
Culture consists of the “map of meaning”
Conceptual Maps
Basis of culture: what are the ways in which we classify the world
The capacity to classify is a basis of human beings
Classification in society is way thats learned
Culture is a system of representation
Language externalizes the meaning we which to represent
“nothing meaningful exists outside of discourse” = wrong, its a claim
without language meaning could not be exchanged
Practices of Signification
production of meaning: symbolic work that has to go on to communicate to
someone else

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advertising tries to construct an image/claim
Meaning is Interpretation
Images have no fixed meaning
Meaning = interpretation
no one’s meaning is right over another
Meaning depends on a certain kind of fixing
Ideology + meaning attempts to fix
Meaning can only be changed because its not fixed
Contesting Stereotypes
Stereotyping is an attempt to fix chactersitics with an image (black men = violent)
“the politics of the image”
“Positive representations” try to reverse the stereotypes
Hard to fix bad representations
Closure in representation, naturalizes the meaning of an image

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Elements of the Popular Trial: Ideology, Power & Prurience
Lecture #2
Hariman- Reading
Social knowledge is contested in trials
Faucault “Body of the Condemned”
Interest of law shifts in 1700’s
“Regicide”: killing of the king
King represents Gods authority on Earth, symbolically huge figure
to kill king or queen is to inflict divine punishment
this law is extreme, have to pay for wrong
Extreme act done in public to set an example
No media form + most ppl were illiterate
Codification of law
disappreanace of torture as public skeptical
Punishment will tend to become the public most hidden part of penal process
Trial now becomes public
“Justice no longer takes public responsibility for violence that is bound up with its
practice” (9)
“It is the conviction itself that marks the offender with the equivocally negative
sign: the publicity has shifted”
Justice As An Ideological Concept
Lady justice: power of justice, punishment, knowledge
What is Ideology?
The study or science of ideas
A systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
The integrated (like a web or network) assertions, theories and aims that
constitute a sociopolitical (ppl with power) program
All ideas are related to each other and work as a system about a theories
Aspects of Ideology
System of ideas & beliefs
Not looking for true of false
Has neither a positive or negative value
Often as “natural”, “universal” or normative
Tired to power interests but not necessarily to dominate power interests
Appears cohesive + coherent: a system that has rationality to it, appears as it
makes sense
Has material effects
Represents itself that we don’t know we have ideologies that we manifest
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