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MDSA02H3 (54)
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Chapter 11

MDSA01 - Chapter 11: Erotic Analysis

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Media Studies
Ted Petit

11Erotic AnalysisErostransgressionproductionMedia erotics explores the array of resistive pleasures that audiences derive from media by examining the various sensuous creative and transgressive ways in which persons use and interpret mediaThe term erotic derives from Eros the Greek god of lust sublimated impulses creative urges and fertilityLike Eros erotics or eroticism has two principle characteristics one involving prohibition taboo and transgression ie repressed desire and the other involving production expenditure and dissemination ie seminal fluidsThus eroticism is at once disruptive of the status quo or established order and productive of something newIn other words eroticism concerns the subject and herhis individual desires and not simply an innate urge to reproduce We also find profound enjoyment in the transgression of taboosThink about slash fanfiction Normal people producers of slash fanfiction are defying the typical heterosexual relations between characters disrupting the status quo creating a homosexual relationship between the two heterosexual characters production of something newtaboo in the eyes of some and they gain pleasure from doing this enjoyment in the transgression of taboosCultural ResistanceResistance those symbolic and material practices that challenge subvert or suspend the cultural codes rules or norms which through their everyday operation create sustain and naturalize the prevailing social structure in a particular space and timeBasically taking part in something that challenges the current social structureResistance is governed by five principles Resistance is1contextualThe time and place of an act is crucial to its status as resistanceresistance is not an act with a fixed quality rather it is always specific to particular times places and social relationships2tacticaltactics or the art of the weakin contrast with strategies the practices of institutions and structures of power are manoeuvres within the enemys field of visionA tactic seizes propitious moments turns events into opportunities and exploits cracks in the systemThink of the pepper spray cop discussed in class Regular civilians the weak took advantage and seized this moment and created something funny out of a serious situation They turned the pepper spray cop event into an opportunity for others to exploit the same crack that they did mocking structures of power in a way that is legal and pleasurableA tactic is fleeting disappearing almost as quickly as it appearsIf you have ever waited until a teacher turns her back to mock that teacher or to send a text message you have behaved tactically or the cop example above3creativeResistance adjusts and amends the existing social order without overturning itResistance is making do about turning the rules to ones advantage and about the diversion of dominant resources for personal benefitResistance does not free one from domination ie social structures and the way they constrain our wants desires and behaviours So one must settle instead for the way we take advantage of the system for our own ends4cumulativeTreated in isolation individual acts of resistance rarely constitute a serious threat to the prevailing social structure But multiple acts of resistance over time have the potential to accumulateNumerous acts can collectively bring about more permanent change Hence critics should not judge the character ie importance of a resistive practice according to its immediate effects5incrementalBecause resistance depends upon the cumulative influence of numerous small wins to bring about social change it rarely results in rapid or foundational social changeResistance remakes society gradually and subtly unlike revolution which brings about change suddenly and almost always violentlySocial change fuelled by resistance occurs slowly and in increments as is evidence by the Gay Rights movementAlthough it has won numerous small victories the overall system remains decidedly homosexualResistive counterhegemonic PleasuresIncreasingly audiences are becoming prosumers meaning that they are active in how they both use and interpret mediaIn altering the prescribed uses and challenging the preferred meanings of media prosumptive practices and behaviours have the potential to yield resistive ie productive pleasuresBy taking what the dominant producers in society give you and changing it into a product of your own your behaviours have the potential to be considered a resistive pleasureThree major prosumptive practices interpretive play fandom and cultural production and participatory media
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