RHETOR 103B Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Hijab, Racial Equality

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8 Feb 2017

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Rhetoric 103B
Lecture 6 -- 02/07/2017
- Language as a set of negative values
- Words have meanings from differences from other words
Barthes uses and mobilizes both the semiological (Saussure) and ideological (Marx)
B= nature itself has history
- Things we consider natural (eating 3 times a day, hair color) are actually rooted
in history
- B: we need to demystify/ denaturalize them to reveal historicity
Book examines different myths embodies in the French culture
What is myth? Historical, unmotivated, many forms, is a language (studied
semiologically), second order sign
- Everything with meaning and radiates some suggestiveness can become a
myth by stealing and restoring meaning
- E.g. classroom use policies - suggest authority and discipline
- B is impatient that things are considered and read as natural
Semiological criticism is important to ideological > create world
Myth as a kind of speech
- 3 elements (signifier, signified, form)
- Myth is 2nd language with which we interpret first language
- Sign suggests another signified
2 examples
(1) Young black man saluting French flag with eyes uplifted (as described by B)
(a) There is actually no flag
(b) Not only the image itself, also notions that France is great, there is no
color discrimination etc.
(c) (225) “There is a signifier itself formed with a previous system…”
(i) 2nd order signification robs the first and instills a new meaning,
but this robbery is never complete (“game of hide and seek”)
(ii) 1st order becomes empty
(iii) “Resignification
(iv) Ex. French boy image: french oppression and colonialism
evaporates and patriotism replaces them
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