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COMM 2P20 (1)
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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMM 2P20
Professor
Marian Bredin
Semester
Fall

Description
Pop Culture Exam Review SectionA: Key Terms. Select FIVE (5) from a list. Five marks each. (25 Marks) Section B: Key Theorists. Select FIVE from a list. Four marks each. (20 Marks) Section C: Key Texts. Select Five from a list. Three Marks Each. TOTAL= 15 Marks Section D: Two Essay Questions on particular theories and/or methods in popular culture. (Each Essay worth 20 marks) (last year exam) The EXAM Friday dec 6th, 12-3pm Place in WCDVIS - worth 25% - covers all material (weeks 1-12) - material from lecture (including clips), reading, lab screenings Format and Structure 3 parts: part 1- identifications (short answers) Parts 2 and 3 – essays Part 1: identifications (50 marks total) - answer 5 questions from section a (25 marks) - answer 5 questions from section b (25 marks) Section A: - choose 5 out of 10 terms and concepts - each answer is worth 5 marks - point form is acceptable - may be a term, phrase, or concept - identify and explain the significance Answering identification questions 1) provide a precise definition 2) clearly explain its significance 3) reference specific author/theorist 4) relate to an example from lab screening that illustrates Section B: - choose 5 out of 10 theorists (names) - describe the theoretical perspective associated with the theorist - explain his/her contribution to theories of popular culture - point forms golden too Parts II and III – essay questions - part ii: essay: 1 essay worth 25 marks - 4 choices, answer 1 question Part IIIL essay: 1 essay worth 25 marks - 3 choices, answer 1 question - ask you to bring together concepts from lecture and the reading and apply in an analysis of an example from lab screening Answering essay questions Your essay should demonstrate: - knowledge and understanding of the material - ability to apply concepts in an analysis of examples screened in lab. Helpful tips Screenings and Readings - avoid being general or vague in discussion of screening - make reference to specific scenes, characters, motifs, themes techniques, etc.. CompleteAnswer: 1) each part of the question is answered fully 2) includes material from lecture, references to relevant arguments from the reading, discussion/analysis of screening. How many pages/length of my essay? Long as it takes you to answer the question.. typical teacher answer SectionA: Key terms. Select 5 from a list. 5 marks each. Help: commodification, culturalism, cultural capital, distinction, moral panic, historical amnesia, polysemy, reflexivity, simulacra, youth subculture Applying any of these to the labs would also be helpful! Aesthetics (lec.11), ch. 10 PostmodernAesthetic(s) - Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, especially the philosophy of art, concerned with the nature and value of art and the criteria by which it should be evaluated - briefly, it means “What is beautiful” Postmodernism -Acultural or artistic aesthetic emphasizing - playfulness - pastiche (“empty” irritation, according to Jameson) - parody (humorous imitation) - recycling - sampling - genre-bended and genre-crossing (but with “the roots showing”)—the mash-up as musical example -and the breaking down of traditional cultural boundaries or categories - between high and low culture - western and non-western cultures - past and present, etc. -Aesthetic distance- is in effect the denial of function: it insists on the ‘how’and not the ‘what’. It is analogous to the difference between judging a meal because it was economically priced and filling, and ludging a meal good on the basis of how it was served, where it was served. - the ‘pure’aesthetic of cultured gaze emerges with the emergence of the cultural field, and becomes institutionalized in the art museum. Once inside the museum art loses all prior functions (except that of being art) and becomes pure form: - for example, an advertisement for soup displayed in an art gallery becomes an example of the aesthetic, whereas the same advertisement in a magazine is an example of commerce Popular aesthetic- populism is related to pop aesthetic according toAng. In which the moral categories of middle-class taste are replaced by an emphasis on contingency, on pluralism, and above all, on please (ch. 7) Base & Superstructure - for Marx, culture is part of the “superstructure” of society (complex of institutions that exists above some kind of base…a bridge..a ship. Whatever’s put on top of the base is the superstructure) - superstructure, and hence culture, is powerfully influenced by the ‘base’—the forces and relations of production (the economic system and the class structure) - superstructure (including culture) both expresses and legitimized the base—i.e., culture, including pop culture, largely determined by capitalist mode of production (see next slide)… people often consume entertainment produced by others Base and Superstructure- TRIANGLE Superstructure (politics, ideology, law, religion, culture) àon top of triangle Base (Relations of Production (class structure), Forces of Production (economic system)àbottom of tri. *** as the sides of the triangle come together, the culture, law , etc. are more constrained. Binary Oppositions Binary opposites—if signs often possess no intrinsic meaning, they are sometimes defined by what they are not - for example, the binary opposites “urban” and “rural” may be associated with the following connotation: artificial vs. natural/ polluted vs. clean/ over-crowded vs. empty, isolated/ exciting vs. boring/ commercial vs. non-commercial/ unfriendly vs. friendly/ dangerous vs. safe - try the same game with Canadian vs.America, using your Tania Modleski- feminism and the mass culture debate - prof of English - argues that the mass society theorists’critiques of pop cultures are based on a set of gendered binary oppositions: - high culture (art) vs. Mass Culture (pop culture) - high culture is seen as masculine whereas mass culture is seen as feminine - highculture is mostly produced by med whereas mass culture tends to be more accessible to women - order is more seen in high culture - high culture and masculinity is associated with production whereas mass culture and femininity is associated with consumption - high culture is associated with work and mass culture is associated with leisure - high culture is associated with intellect and mass culture with emotion - high culture is about the activity and mass culture with passivity - high culture is writing (the active process of production of high culture) and mass is reading Commodification Commodification: transformation of use value into exchange value, something that is bought and sold - ex.Agricultural products have been made into a series of commodities, people grew their own, now we buy the vast majority by someone who produced it for sale Conscious, preconscious, unconscious (lec. 6) - Sigmund Freud - those basic human instincts revealed by Freud’s conception of three levels of the mind and his deconstruction of the elements of the psyche - conscious, preconscious, subconscious Three levels- like an iceburg Conscious level: thoughts and perceptions Preconscious level: memories, stored knowledge(things we know about just from living in a shared society, we often don’t know that we know it) Subconscious level: violent motives, fears, unacceptable sexual desires, irrational wishes, immoral urges, selfish needs, shameful experiences Cultural capital Cultural imperialism (lec. 10) ¨ Comes from the Latin term imperium, meaning to command. ¨ The way that one country exercises power over another, whether through settlement, sovereignty, or indirect mechanisms of control. ¨ The domination of one culture over a subordinated culture ¨ the linguistic, social, and cultural marginalization of indigenous peoples ¨ Values flow along with our cultural products when they are spread to other countries. Cultural imperialism is the imbalanced flow of information and entertainment between metropolitan societies and peripheral cultures, such that the metropolis imposes its culture and values on the peripheries - we are imposing our values on other countries with our products Cultural appropriation is the borrowing of texts, styles and artefacts from another culture and passing them off as one’s own Ex. The Beatles Norwegian wood very rare Ex. Cornershop, Norwegian Wood” this bird has flown Culturalism…lec. 5 - the term ‘culturalism’was coined to describe his work, and the work of Thompson, Hoggart and Williams - used the term to indicate the presence of a body of theoretical concerns connecting the work of the three theorists - Storey notes that E.P. Thompson for examples rejected the term culturalism as a description of his work - two meanings of the term culturalism: - a methodology or approach to research which emphasized studying the everyday culture of ordinary people (not just “great works or elites”) - a theory of society which emphasizes the independence or autonomy of culture, its detachment from underlying structures such as the economic system of the class system **compare and contrast chart: opposing and supporting social change etc. Denotation, connotation (lec.9) signifier- the verbal, visual, sound, etc…that is a representation of the signified - signified—the object, idea, event, or person referred to (also called referent) - Sign = signifier + signified Types of Signs - Three principle types of sign (relationships between signifier and signified) - Icons - indexes - Symbols Arbitrariness: the meaning of any sign is arbitrary in that there is no necessary correspondence between signifier and signified (de Sauassure) Polysemy: terms used to mean that some sign are ambiguous because they may have multiple meanings Denotation: “mean” or “give to understand”. The everyday meaning, the manifest meaning Connotation: “suggest” or “imply”. The latent meaning, reading between the lines First order signification: the everyday meanings of signs (the denotative level) Second order sign.: the “mythic “meaning of signs—the bringing together of signs and their connotations to shape a particular…. Doing semiotic analysis: In course pack…chart Putting into Practice (picture of Canadian flag): What kind of sign is this? Discourse Foucault’s concept of discourse is similar toAlthusser’s idea of the ‘problematic’; that is, both are organized and organizing bodies of knowledge, with rules and regulations that govern particular practices(ways of speaking, thinking and acting) - discourses work in three ways: they enable, constraint, and the constitute - discourses are practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak’ - language for example, is a discourse: it enables me to speak, it constrains what I can say; it constitutes me as a speaking subject - in this way, discourses produce subject positions we are invited to occupy (member of a language community given the example above) - discourses therefore, are social practices in which we engage; they are like social ‘scripts’we perform (consciously and unconsciously) - all the things we are, are enabled, constrained and constituted in discourses Discourse and power -discourses produce knowledge and knowledge is always a weapon of power; knowledge and power are joined through discourse - the Victorian invention of sexuality did not just produce knowledge about sexuality, it sought to produce power over sexuality; this was knowledge that could be deployed to categorize and to organize behaviour; divide it into the ‘normal and the unacceptable - power produces reality; through discourses it produces the ‘truths’we live by; ‘each society has its own regime of truth, its ‘general politics’of truth—that is, the types of discourse it accepts and makes function as true’...even if they aren’t true…they are thought of as true and that is what matters Distinction Ego, super-ego, id (lec. 6) - Sigmund Freud The Psyche - three key elements: ID, EGO, SUPER-EGO - Id is the primitive self, the inner self, driven by basic instincts and passions (the pleasure principle) - Ego is the social self which evolves to allow one to exist in society (the reality principle), in part by mediating between id and super-ego - Super-Ego is the conscious, the representative of authority - they tend to dwell at different levels of consciousness or the mind - Ego lives mostly at the conscious level but a little but in the preconscious for things such s shared knowledge - the super-ego tends to live more at preconscious because of the shared knowledge - the id is almost entirely at the subconscious level - the id is all the bad ideas that are urging you on, and the super-ego is like the angel sitting on your right shoulder, it’s your conscious ,knows right from wrong Repression and Dreams - in order to function in society, ego has to be able to repress the basic instincts of the Id - according to Freud, the basic instincts and drives surface in other ways—often in our dreams - dreams are a “compromise structure”—a compromise between the demands of the id and censorship by the ego (responding to the super-ego) - dreams incorporate manifest (remembered) content and latent (repressed) content Elite (high) culture (lec. 2,3) - “Ateam originally used in the nineteenth century to draw a class-based distinction between ‘elite’and ‘low’cultural forms.” - also known as “art culture” or “highbrow” culture - “high culture also defines itself in aesthetic terms as being ‘serious’or ‘true’culture as opposed to ‘inauthentic’mass culture.” High culture or pop culture? - The Three Tenorsà highbrow - Il Divoàmiddle brow - Sex Pistolàlow brow *Shakespeare in his day was popular culture, but now we intent to think of shakespeare as literature, high culture - For example, most people in the O.C. may seem rich, but they are not part of the elite (Arnold’s aristocracy) nor would they be conversant with high (elite) culture - For Arnold, they would be philistines, part of the new industrial/commercial bourgeoisie; they have money, but no taste (no class) - High culture (and the avant-garde) offers the opportunity to critique capitalism, but high culture overwhelmed by (and co-opted into) commodified mass culture Tania Modleski- feminism and the mass culture debate - prof of English - argues that the mass society theorists’critiques of pop cultures are based on a set of gendered binary oppositions: - high culture (art) vs. Mass Culture (pop culture) - high culture is seen as masculine whereas mass culture is seen as feminine - highculture is mostly produced by med whereas mass culture tends to be more accessible to women - order is more seen in high culture - high culture and masculinity is associated with production whereas mass culture and femininity is associated with consumption - high culture is associated with work and mass culture is associated with leisure - high culture is associated with intellect and mass culture with emotion - high culture is about the activity and mass culture with passivity - high culture is writing (the active process of production of high culture) and mass is reading Ethnography Ethnographic Research - Ethnography = “writing culture” - used to understand the cultures of groups and organizations - requires researcher to “see through the eyes of” those being studied - Approaches also include: - direct observation (especially “participant” observation), to be used inAssignment 2 - interviews (in-depth, qualitative forms) - Oral histories (see historical research) Folk culture *Jazz started as folk culture, 1920’s -40’s it was popular culture, now jazz is something a minority taste an art - “…those cultural products and practices that have developed over time within a particular community or socially identifiable group, and that are communicated from generation and amongst people who tend to be known to one another.” - “Folk culture tends to be seen as the direct expression of the life experiences shared by its creators and their audience.” Popular culture or Folk culture? - consider both the matter (type of song) and the manner and context of its performance - Stan Rogers Barret’s Privateers - who is the audience for this performance? *it was a folk because it seemed to be telling a true story and the people singing it are not famous, unrecognizable - popular culture = folk+ mass+ everyday (but perhaps not elite) Hegemony (lec. 3) - is the OC resistant of hegemonic Gramsci and hegemony - Theory developed by Italian social theoristAntonio Gramsci to account for apparent willingness of working class to accept oppression under capitalism - Gramsci’s problem: capitalism stinks, it’s hard for the working class, but after WW1 it looked like it could be overthrown….i think prof said.. - Hegemony is the intellectual and moral leadership exercised by the dominant class which allows it to rule by making its ideas acceptable to the masses as the “common sense” of society as a whole. - examples (though perhaps now dated): “What’s good for GM is good for St. Catharines” - Mass culture (the culture industry) is what is produced by capitalism to entertain the masses (an reinforce hegemony) - Popular culture is what people “make from their active consumption of the texts and practices of the cultural industries” (storey, 84) - Gramsci allows for possibility of resistance, whereby the people, or some groups within society, create their own “counter-hegemonic” culture - Important link to British cultural studies (nxt week) - Some songs about class…”Power in the Union”, “Union Town”, “Working-class hero”, “Common people” Highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow Historical amnesia - postmodern culture suffers from “historical amnesia”, as failure to understand historical context. Temporal culture has given way to spatial culture, leading to cultural schizophrenia - Jameson here draws upon Lacan’s definition of schizophrenia as loss of historical or temporal perspective—everything that ever happened to the individual is happening right now - for Jameson, postmodernism is hopelessly commercial culture (revealing his Frankfurt school roots) and that the lack of historical perspective prevents the development of social consciousness about capitalist society Ex. Historical amnesia? Hernder Estate winery…covered bridges don’t exist in Ontario…so why is one at this winery built in the past 10 years. They’re trying to portray this as supposed to be in the countryside Hybridity, the third space (lec. 10) Hybridity refers to “the mixed or hyphenated identities of persons or ethnic communities, or of texts that express and explore this condition, sometimes themselves employing mixed written and visual discourses” (peter Brooker,AGlossary of Cultural Theory, p. 126) - Hybridity is often associated with Indian cultural theorist, Homi Bhabha (now based at Harvard uni) who is also known for the concept of the “third space” a form of negotiated post-colonial cultural space identity - ex. Person from india going to canada or Europe etc. - bhabha rejects the binary logic of structuralism and argues for more nuanced concepts of identity and culture - in the former colonial powers, super powers, there are large immigrants (Britain and France), note the term immigrant is a contested term itself, - in immigrant communities, there are often cultural tensions between the host community (the society to which migrants come) and the originating culture (the society from which migrants from), which are most powerful for the children of the original migrants who have to negotiate a new cultural space - ex. SouthAsian communities in Britain…apache indian…real name steven kapur..arranged marriage 1. Apache indian represents hybridity in the type of music that he produces which has a mix of reggae influence, indian influence, and western popular music. Third Space::: Cultural spaces in-between traditional binaries, somewhere between the old identities and new identities Bhabha rejects the binary logic of structuralism and argues for more nuanced concepts of identity and culture Q. How do the younger generation in Bend it Like Beckham negotiate a third space? Which characters do, which don’t? Hyperrealism Jean Baudrillard - argues that we cannot understand culture in isolation from economic forces because the postmodern economy is based on the production of information (culture) rather than the production of things - in “Simu and sim”, Baudrillard argues that: all reality and meaning has been replaced by signs and symbols (we don’t need to visit Paris or Rome to find out what they look like, all we need to do is experience the simulations (hotels in Las Vegas for example). - and that human experience is of simulation of reality rather than of reality itself (hyper reality) - this representation of “a real” in the absence of origins of reality, Baudillard calls “hyperreality,” the typical mode of postmodern simulation . ex. P. 193 Ex. Simulacra in Las Vegas - in his concept of the “precession” of simulacra, Baudillard distinguishes among: - first order simulacra (pre-industrial society) in which images or symbols, such as painting, are clearly copies of representations of a ‘real’original - second order simulacra (industrial society) in which representation, such as photos, threaten to displace the real original - third order simulacra (postmodern or post-industrial society) where the image has replaced the real, or becomes, “real for most purposes - For example, Baudillard questioned whether the first Gulf War (90-91) “really” happened, for most observers in western countries, all they saw was a televisual representation of the war Ch. 9: calls simulation ‘ the generation by models of a real without origins or reality; a hypereal’. Hyperrealism is the characteristic mode of postmodernity. In the realm of the hyperreal, the distinction between simulation and the ‘real’implodes; the ‘real’and the imaginary continually collapse into each other. The result is that the reality and simulation are experienced as without difference. Evidence for hyperrealism is said to be everywhere—ppl write letters to characters in soap operas. Baidrilard’s example: Disneyland. The perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation. The success of Disneyland is not due to its ability to allow americans a fantasy escape from reality, but to the fact that it allows them an unacknowledged concentrated experience of ‘real’America. Ideology (lec. 3) - French Marxist theorist, LouisAlthusser grants ideology (or culture) a degree of relative autonomy - Two important views of ideology: - “a system (with its own logic and rigor) of representations (images, myths, ideas or concepts) cited Storey, 73 - “lived material practice—rituals, customs, patterns of behaviour, ways of thinking taking practical form” reproduced through ISA(ideological state apparatuses, including education system and mass media) see Storey 80-81 - Profs problem withAlthusser: EVERYTHING becomes part of the state, not just political stuff and justice stuff, it tries to explain so much that for the prof its unsatisfactory Storey writes that the ideology of racism was spread unquestioned among all classes of people because of the widespread economic benefits of slavery and the slave trade. (p.175 Intertextuality (lec.8) Concept of Intertextuality - When sister Louise asks what’s it like to have sex with a man, why is it funny. We also know that Ellen is a lesbian; and, coming from a nun character, this is funny. We know this through intertextuality (our knowledge of other texts that give us different meanings) - It’s a challenge to “get” all the pop culture references, for the audience. E.g. Jack’s comments about the book “Black Like Me”. - Definition of intertextuality: the way that the meaning of one text is shaped by other texts. - The term is associated with Julia Kristeva, Bulgarian French feminist - Important influence on meaning n all forms of popular culture (which tends to draw on and allude to other popular culture). Think of all the pop culture references in Will and Grace. Lack ch. 5 - Jaques Lacan - Lacan starts out with Freud and the Oedipus Complex, but builds on Freud’s work in two ways: - by anchoring psychoanalysis in culture rather than biology - by developing a more detailed understanding of the developmental process and its links to culture - For Lacan we are born into a condition of “lack” (incompleteness) and spend the rest of our lives trying to make up for that lack (to complete ourselves) Lacan’s stages - we are born in “the Real”, a state of nature, in perfect union with our mothers - we are already in a situation of lack here however, because we are inseparable from our mothers at this point, we have no individual identity really - (Note that the Real, the state of nature, for Lacan, always has to be described in language, therefore is always symbolized, always defined by culture) - in the mirror stage, we become aware of ourselves as separate (but incomplete) individuals (we enter the imaginary) - in the ‘fort/da’stage, we begin to use language (symbolism) to make sense of our surroundings - in the Oedipus complex stage, we attempt to come to terms with sexual difference and enter fully into the Symbolic realm *our whole lives we desire the impossibility of closing the gap between self and other—to make good what we ‘lack’. We long for a time when we existed in nature(mother’s womb), where everything was itself, before the mediations of language and Symbolic.As we move forward through the narrative of our lives, we are driven by a desire to overcome the conditions, and as we look back, we continue to ‘believe’that the union with the mother was a moment of plenitude before the fall into the ‘lack’. the lesson the Oedipus complex is that the child must now resign itself to the fact that it can never have any direct access to the body of the mother. We have to do instead with substitute objects to try to fill the back...the lack. - eventually we emerge from the Oedipus stage as a functioning adult (hopefully…some elements may still exist) Male gaze Laura Mulvey and the male gaze (look at last week chapter too) - takes the concept of “gaze” from Lacan and applies it to Hollywood cinema’s reproduction of gendered identities - Hollywood’s gaze, she argues, is male: reproducing gendered roles of: - active/male/looking - passive/female/to-be-looked-at - the pleasure of the gaze replicates the structure of unequal power relations between men and women - while Mulvey’s focus is on cinema, the critique applies to other forms of visual popular culture (such as tv) - the inscription of the image of woman is twofold: i) she is the object of male desire, and ii) she is the signifier of the threat of castration Masculinity (lec. 8) Masculinity studies (or men’s studies) emerged out of a 2nd wave of feminism in the 70s and 80s, two waves and a backlash. Created study/inquiry and discourses about gender relations. Largely focused among middle class white men – how do men respond to feminism? Should men also be challenging traditional masculine stereotypes. In the 80s and 90s, this also spawned a backlash among men. Guys felt their traditional patriarchal power was being undermined by feminism, and they sought to re-established it. When power becomes threatened, there is often a backlash. Analyzing and theorizing masculinity and how those things are represented in pop culture 2nd Wave · The second wave of men’s movement extended beyond the middle class white males and there was an effort to understand masculinity through a wider lens of working class culture, gay men, black men – postmodern ideas of masculinity. · Masculinity = a social construct, as set of norms and values defining what it is to be “a man”, to be “masculine”. · These change over time · One part of a binary opposite: masculine vs feminine, masculinity vs femininity. Where one things is thought only in relation to another. Masculinity doesn’t have any intrinsic meaning of its own, except in contrast to femininity. E.g. two headings, masculine, feminine, we can list a series of characteristics or traits associated with that. Matched pairs of traits for both M and F. These are stereotypes: they are cultural constructs, what we imagine men and women to be. Over time, these traits differ. Blue and pink are a 20th century thing. Before the 20ths century, blue was more associated with women/girls; men were more commonly dressed in red. Eg’s of 20th Century Masculinity : Humphrey Bogart, James Dean; James Bond; Hulk Hogan; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Steve McQueen; The Marlboro Man; Robert Plan/Led Zeppelin. Bruce Springsteen Shown holding cigarettes, guns, bare/hairy chests, muscles, motorcycles Traditional notions of masculinity, project the stereotypes of the times. Masculinity is bound with notions of class, race, gender We have this notion of masculinity being linked to the working class, a man’s man, a cowboy, a rough tough guy. Bound up with notions of race (we have seen very few black males as icons of masculinity) Masculinity in the 21st century 50 cent David Beckham Justin Bieber Mit Romney Ryan Gosling (Examples show that we are embracing more alternative versions of masculinity) Mass culture - mass culture is, from some perspectives, highly commodified, commercialized and supportive of hegemonic ideology; - it is often put down as an inferior (“lower common denominator”) form of culture - but for some theorists, such as John Fiske, popular culture is the site of on-going negotiation between hegemonic texts of mass culture and the often-resistant practices of consumers (see also “popular culture as youth culture,” below) - popular culture = folk+ mass+ everyday (but perhaps not elite) - Mass culture (the culture industry) is what is produced by capitalism to entertain the masses (an reinforce hegemony) - the OC as mass culture, commercialization/commodification Mass Culture Theorists: Two Schools of Thought…1 1. Conservative elitist: also called “the culture and civilization tradition” - Matthew Arnold - want to preserve existing social order, but see mass culture as threat 2. Radical elitists: associated with “the Frankfurt School” - especially Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno - want to change existing social order, Tania Modleski- feminism and the mass culture debate - prof of English - argues that the mass society theorists’critiques of pop cultures are based on a set of gendered binary oppositions: - high culture (art) vs. Mass Culture (pop culture) - high culture is seen as masculine whereas mass culture is seen as feminine - high culture is mostly produced by med whereas mass culture tends to be more accessible to women - order is more seen in high culture - high culture and masculinity is associated with production whereas mass culture and femininity is associated with consumption - high culture is associated with work and mass culture is associated with leisure - high culture is associated with intellect and mass culture with emotion - high culture is about the activity and mass culture with passivity - high culture is writing (the active process of production of high culture) and mass is reading Mega-Events - Mega-vents; multi-media musical events (often involving celebrities from other walk of life_ focused on raising money for and /or raising consciousness about a particular issue or cause; - mega-events typically feature live or televised concerts, albums, CDs or digital downloads, videos and DVDs of performances, later a “the making of..” film/video/DVD, often also merchandise, books and commercial tie-ins Origins - benefit concerts are centuries old - the roots of modern “charity rock” or “conscience rock” often attributed to the Concerts for Bangla Desh, organized by ex-Beatle George Harrison in 1971 - infrequent adaptations in 1970’s and early 80’s - the song publicized the issue of famine inAfrica, raised money from the sales...”Do they know it’s Christmas”- Bandaid was their name….double meaning...they are coming to the aid of Africa, but a bandaid is really all it is; it’s just temporarily covering the wound American imitations USAforAfrica: we are the world Wag the dog: theAmerican Dream Other examples of “mega-events” from the 1980’s and 90’s - the biggest mega-event of all time: excerpt from LiveAid (1985) Popular music and 9/11… Mega-events of the 2000s… Will I am and Obama Metanarratives Lyotard - the postmodern condition is marked by a crisis in the status of knowledge in Western societies - this is expressed as an ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’and what he calls ‘ the obsolescence of the metanarrative apparatus of legitimation’. - what Lyotard is referring to is the supposed contemporary widespread rejection of all overarching and totalizing frameworks that seek to tell universal stories (metanarratives): Marxism, liberalism, Christianity for example - according to Lyotard, metanarratives operate through inclusion and exclusion, as homogenizing forces, marshalling heterogeneity into ordered realms, silencing and excluding other discourses, other voices in the name of universal principles and general goals - postmodernism is said to be the signal of collapse of all metanarratives with their privileged truth to tell, and to witness instead the increasing sound of a plurality of voices from the margin, with their insistence on difference, on cultural diversity, and the claims of heterogeneity over homogeneity - science has lost its status as a metanarrative considerably since WWII—no longer seen as making progress on behalf of mankind, its performativity. - popular for…postmodern society and postmodern culture characterized by the loss in belief in metanarrative(I don’t know if this is exactly it) -most famous work, “The Postmodern Condition: AReport on Knowledge” - argued that postmodernity is characterized by a loss of belief in “meta-narrative” or “grand-narratives”—those theories or philosophies that seek to explain everything Postmodernity is instead characterized by a large number of micro-narratives or “language-games” - put another way, postmodernity is marked by replacement of the search for capital-T “Truth” by the acceptance of many small-t “truths” - the changing role of ideology in society is what he’s really talking about...we’ve lost faith in that there’s one main metanarrative, now we just have a whole bunch of small-t truths. Loss of cultural value. We can no longer judge what is a great painting or book because we’ve replaced the big-t truth for small-t truthS..so everyone’s opinions count. We no longer all agree of. So as a result we now value trashy art the same as high art. No longer one objective truth. Mirror stage - Jaques Lacan - For Lacan we are born into a condition of “lack” (incompleteness) and spend the rest of our lives trying to make up for that lack (to complete ourselves) Lacan’s stages - we are born in “the Real”, a state of nature, in perfect union with our mothers - we are already in a situation of lack here however, because we are inseparable from our mothers at this point, we have no individual identity really - (Note that the Real, the state of nature, for Lacan, always has to be described in language, therefore is always symbolized, always defined by culture) - in the mirror stage, we become aware of ourselves as separate (but incomplete) individuals (we enter the imaginary) - first stage -this is when our sense of unique individual begins to emerge -we are born prematurely according to Lacan; it takes time to coordinate and control our movements. This has not been fully developed when an infant first sees itself in a mirror (6-18 months) - forms and identification with the image in the mirror - the mirror suggest control and coordination that as yet does not exist - therefore, when the infant first sees itself in a mirror, it sees not only an image of its current self but also the promise of a more complete self; it is in the promise that the go begins to emerge - we begin to see ourselves as separate individuals - in the ‘fort/da’stage, we begin to use language (symbolism) to make sense of our surroundings - in the Oedipus complex stage, we attempt to come to terms with sexual difference and enter fully into the Symbolic realm *our whole lives we desire the impossibility of closing the gap between self and other—to make good what we ‘lack’. We long for a time when we existed in nature(mother’s womb), where everything was itself, before the mediations of language and Symbolic. As we move forward through the narrative of our lives, we are driven by a desire to overcome the conditions, and as we look back, we continue to ‘believe’that the union with the mother was a moment of plenitude before the fall into the ‘lack’. the lesson the Oedipus complex is that the child must now resign itself to the fact that it can never have any direct access to the body of the mother. We have to do instead with substitute objects to try to fill the back...the lack. - eventually we emerge from the Oedipus stage as a functioning adult (hopefully…some elements may still exist) Moral panic Myth - Claude Levi-Strauss, French anthropologist adapted de Suassure’s ideas to the study of anthropology - his particular focus was the “unconscious foundations” of societies, the underlying structure on which myths are constructed - Levi-Strauss argued that myths (myths are not the opposite of truth and facts) in all societies had similar structure and had similar socio-cultural functions Myths= are the stories we tell ourselves that tell us who we are (Northrop Frye) - Roland Barthes, “Myth is a system of communication…a mode of signification…conveyed by a discourse. Myth is not defined by the object of its message, but by the way in which it utters this message Oedipus complex - Freud famous for the Oedipus Complex, his theory of psychosexual development - named after character in Greek drama by Sophocles. Oedipus, unknowingly, first kills his father, then marries his mother. When he discovers what he has done, he blinds himself - according to Freud, boys all have the instinct to kill their fathers and marry their mothers, but withhold them until they grow up and their mother becomes their mother, and they go out and get married to a girl - Freud also struggled over time to apply a similar model to the psychosexual development of girls (the Jocasta complex), but revised his thinking on this on a number of occasions - Lacan starts out with Freud and the Oedipus Complex, but builds on Freud’s work in two ways: - by anchoring psychoanalysis in culture rather than biology - by developing a more detailed understanding of the developmental process and its links to culture - For Lacan we are born into a condition of “lack” (incompleteness) and spend the rest of our lives trying to make up for that lack (to complete ourselves) Lacan’s stages - we are born in “the Real”, a state of nature, in perfect union with our mothers - we are already in a situation of lack here however, because we are inseparable from our mothers at this point, we have no individual identity really - (Note that the Real, the state of nature, for Lacan, always has to be described in language, therefore is always symbolized, always defined by culture) - in the mirror stage, we become aware of ourselves as separate (but incomplete) individuals (we enter the imaginary) - in the ‘fort/da’stage, we begin to use language (symbolism) to make sense of our surroundings - in the Oedipus complex stage, we attempt to come to terms with sexual difference and enter fully into the Symbolic realm *our whole lives we desire the impossibility of closing the gap between self and other—to make good what we ‘lack’. We long for a time when we existed in nature(mother’s womb), where everything was itself, before the mediations of language and Symbolic. As we move forward through the narrative of our lives, we are driven by a desire to overcome the conditions, and as we look back, we continue to ‘believe’that the union with the mother was a moment of plenitude before the fall into the ‘lack’. the lesson the Oedipus complex is that the child must now resign itself to the fact that it can never have any direct access to the body of the mother. We have to do instead with substitute objects to try to fill the back...the lack. - eventually we emerge from the Oedipus stage as a functioning adult (hopefully…some elements may still exist) Orientalism (lec. 9) - a term used to describe a way of imagining, representing or mythologizing what used to know as ‘the East” - it is a western discourse (a way of thinking and expressing) used to make sense of the unfamiliar (the orient) - according to Edward Said (Sy-ee(d)), Western literature and art depict the Orient as an irrational, weak, feminised “Other”, contrasted with the rational, strong, masculine West - for said, the west defines itself in binary opposition to its image of the East (ex, the west is defined in terms of what the mythical east is not) - storey refers to portrayals of the East in films about the Vietnam War - Think also about representations of the East is other well-known films (Indiana jones and the temple of doom? )or music videos…missed the rest of slide Q. What does Said mean when he talks about “absolute differences” between the West and the Orient? Panopticon - type of prison building designed by Jeremy Bentham - at the centre of the building is a tower that allows the governor to observe all the prisoners in the surrounding cells without the prisoners knowing whether or not they are in fact being observed - “ a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quanitity hitherto without example: and that, to a degree qyally without example’ - inmates never know whether they are actually being observed or not. Therefore they learn to always behave themselves. This is the power of the panopticon - panopticonism is the extension of this system of surveillance to society as a whole -panopticism is a form of power. The widespread use of surveillance technogies in contemporoary coety. Big brother is an example. It might be possible to argue that the gaze of Big Brother is reciprocal; it desciplines us as much as the contestants we watch being disciplined: we are in the calls and not in the governor’s tower. Parody vs. pastiche Frederic Jameson - postmodernism as the cultural style of late capitalism - argues that parody (satirical imitation with a critical purpose) has been replaced by pastiche (pure imitation, for commercial purposes, as seen in the endless remakes, sequels and “nostalgia films” among Hollywood movies) - postmodern is said to be a culture of pastiche: a culture, that is maked, by the ‘complacnet play of historical allusion’ - pastiche is often confused with parody: both involve imitation and mimcry. - however, while parody has an ‘ulterior motive’, to mock a divergence from convention or a norm, pastiche is a ‘blank parody’or ‘empty copy’, which has no sense of the very possibility of there being a norm or a convention from which to diverge Patriarchy - Storey describes FOUR principal varieties of feminism: Radical feminism- patriarchy…as principle mode of suppression, system of male-dominance and male-power which imposes the subordinations of women in these societies, the radical form of fem in these societies is to build their own institutions and own societies, to allow them to escape from male-dominance……. structural societies (patriarchy in this case) that need to be overthrown - a system of domination in which men as a group have power over women as a group. The domination of women by men is seen as a consequence of capital’s domination over labour Dual-systems theory—patriarchy and capitalism (less important today) - feminists have an assumption that understanding how pop culture functions both for women and for a catriarchal culture is important if women are to gain control over their own identities and change both social mythologies and social relations Performativity (lec. 8) Judith Butler Performativity: the process by which identities are enacted through repeated performances rather than inheritantly possessed or inhabited. (the notion that one is not born a woman, one becomes a woman) Who was the famous French feminist who said that. One develops a sexual identity be repeatedly enacting a gendered performance. We do have choices along these lines. Butler’s notion challenges dominant heterosexual norms and the ideology of society. Views sexual identity as complex, shifting and “in the process of becoming”. We are always working on it. It’s always potentially evolving Polysemy Polysemy: terms used to mean that some sign are ambiguous because they may have multiple meanings Postcolonialism (lec. 10) - the study of the ideological and cultural impact of western colonialism and it particular of its aftermath— - whether as a continuing influence (neo-colonialism, cultural imperialism) - or in the emergence of newly articulated national and individual identities ¨ the study of the ideological and cultural impact of western colonialism and its aftermath (the study of texts and artefacts and cultural flows) ¨ whether as a continuing influence (neo-colonialism, cultural imperialism) ¨ or in the emergence of newly articulated national and individual identities Q. Is the Kumars an example of colonial or post-colonial culture? Is it racist or anti-racist? What factors or considerations might you have to think about in order to answer this question Post feminism - “post-feminism”? (later in lecture) - two ideas of post-fem: - a divergence from the original path of feminism - the idea that we don’t need feminism anymore, its in the past - Winship: refers to the way in which the boundaries between feminists and non-feminists have become fuzzy - due to the fact that many feminist ideas no longer have an oppositional charge but are rather part of many peoples common sense now - McRobbie: rather its undermining of feminism works by acknowledging feminism while at the same time suggesting that it is no longer necessary in a world where women have the freedom to shape their own individual life courses - the acknowledgement of feminism is only to demonstrate that it is no longer relevant –dual action Postmodernism, postmodernity (lec. 11) Postmodernity - a stage of socio-cultural development associated with late capitalism or what is sometimes referred to as “post-industrial society” or the “globalized economy” - associated with - deindustrialization - the importance of the service sector - and moderate, generalized affluence, at least in developed western economies - also associated with decline of class conflict (due to decomposition of the working class) - mass-mediated culture based on digital technology PostmodernAesthetic(s) - Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy, especially the philosophy of art, concerned with the nature and value of art and the criteria by which it should be evaluated - briefly, it means “What is beautiful” Postmodernism -Acultural or artistic aesthetic emphasizing - playfulness - pastiche (“empty” irritation, according to Jameson) - parody (humorous imitation) - recycling - sampling - genre-bended and genre-crossing (but with “the roots showing”)—the mash-up as musical example - and the breaking down of traditional cultural boundaries or categories - between high and low culture - western and non-western cultures - past and present, etc. - Concept of multiple truths rather than one, individual big “T” truth (people have different views of the world. Think multiple religions, or rise of atheists - accept different perspectives) - Creating own reality Postmodern architecture? Jackson-Triggs winery: playful, works on the notion of first having an industrial element to it but is very much rooted in the countryside, the ramp mirrors the escarpment which is behind the winery, the roof trusses are outside the building instead of inside(the roots are showing which makes it a very postmodern architecture) Pseudo individualization, standardization Standardization (Adorno) extends from the most general features to the most specific ones. Once a musical and/or lyrical pattern had proved successful it is exploited to commercial exhaustion, culminating in the crystallization of standards (Adele). - in order to conceal standardization, the music industry engages in whatAdorno calls “pseudo individualization: ‘standardization’of song hits keeps the customers in line by doing their listening for them, as it were. Pseudo-individualization, for its part, keeps them in line by making them forget that what they listen to is already listened to for them, or “pre-digested” - This indicates that there is indeed some differences in each song, but are restricted to the said form. There is a false sense of individuality that persuades the listener that it is unique. These little differences can be anything from a varied rhythm, to a different kind of harmony, to a different kind of instrumentation. The key to this concept is that if these details were replaced with another detail, or even rearranged, it would not affect the track as a whole, making it “pre- digested” for the listener. Queer reading strategies (lec. 8…maybe need more from text. Alex Doty) · Explains use of the term “queer”, an inclusive term for all those who are “non- straight”, anti-straight” or contra-straight”. Suggests there are differ
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