MIT 2200 Final Exam Cheat Sheet

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Alison Hearn

ESSAY QUESTION 1 Write an essay that explores the genesis of thinking about binaries in the constitution of cultural meaningIntroduction Whose work introduced the concept of the binary Claude Levi StraussThe application of Ferdinand de Saussures notion of semioticswhere he particularly analyzes language as a totally arbitrary system of significationto cultural systems founds the broader theory of structuralism Structuralist theorist Claude Levi Strauss introduced the concept of the binary as he believed that meaning only happens through difference and is shaped and constrained by an innate structuring capacity in humans Particularly Strauss argues that stories myths and folktales reflect this binary tendency as they are used to understand and organize the world The emergence of poststructuralist theorist Jacques Derrida challenges the notion of binary opposition and posits that it induces a violent hierarchyThesis This essay will explore Derridas principle of deferrance where meaning is never fixed in relation to Levi Strauss perspective on how meaning is produced through binary opposition The breakdown of the latter principle through Derridas process of binary deconstruction results in the constitution of cultural meaning and the formation of subjectivity regarding gender and sexuality and race and colonialism1 How does deconstruction challenge this work Jacques DerridaBinary deconstruction plays a significant role in the construction of cultural meaning as it attempts to expose and undermine the oppositions hierarchies and paradoxes of particular texts Derrida deems binaries to be problematic because of the inequality in structure which he coins as the violent hierarchy where one of the two terms dominates over the other 2 Gender MaleFemale BinarySexuality HeteroHomo Binary Judith ButlerCCTR 191 The breakdown of the traditional malefemale binary and heterosexualhomosexual binary reveal how these matters are socially taught and culturally inscribedrather than naturalin order to create the subjective grounds of both gender and sexuality How its produced Judith Butler posits that biology is culturally shaped and marked by our assumptions about gender where identity is mutually definingHow it suffers Versions of gender are hierarchized Male dominance over femalescompulsory heterosexualityGender and sexuality also intersect with the formation of other points of identity including race and colonialism3 Race BlackWhite BinaryColonialism EuropeanOriental Binary Franz FanonCCTR 87Like gender and sexuality race and ethnicity are defined by selfascription and subjective belief constituted by social and cultural values and experiences that subvert binary oppositions How its produced Race is a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies We develop a sense of subjectivity in relation to the otherHow it suffers Fanon carries the burden of the stereotype produced by ambivalence C Every aspect of life is tension every aspect of life is political from our bodies to our thoughts to language to culture LawrenceESSAY QUESTION 2Write an essay that explores the power of looking and being seen in the constitution of our subjectivities I
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