To Structuralism And Beyond


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  • To Structuralism And Beyond

    1. 1. Communicating Culture to structuralism and beyond
    2. 2. Symbols - Saussure <ul><li>Synchronic v diachronic linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Language v speech </li></ul><ul><li>The unit of study = the sign </li></ul><ul><li>Signifier and Signified </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When a perceivable sound (a signifier) means something (a signified) to the people who perceive it, then the two together make up a sign. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. What is a semiological system? <ul><li>A semiological system is a closed system of signs . </li></ul><ul><li>Because the system is closed, part of the sign’s value comes from being not the values of the other signs in the system (Saussure’s negative meaning). </li></ul>
    4. 4. Symbols - Saussure <ul><li>Why is this so important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Because it is arbitrary the sign is totally subject to history and the combination at a particular moment of a given signifier and signifier is a contingent result of the historical process. (Culler, cited in Hall, 1997: 32) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Cotan, Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber c. 1602
    6. 6. Semiotics: the menu <ul><ul><li>Starters : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alba truffle, cepe duxelle, Soft poached hens egg white bean velouté </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrine of foie gras, Sauternes jelly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tempura of Whitby cod, pea purée, mint dressing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mains : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roasted squab pigeon, braised puy lentils, raviolo of wild mushrooms port jus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curry spiced loin of lamb finished with roasting juices and watermelon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fillet of Scotch beef, girolles, baby leeks, foie gras </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pan-fried fillet of halibut, mussels, saffron cream sauce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roasted monkfish wrapped in Carpegna ham, clam minestrone Cavolo Nero, black olive oil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curry spiced loin of lamb finished with roasting juices and watermelon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Melange of Ice Cream </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple Pie </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Semiotics: fashion
    8. 8. Decoding the message A B
    9. 9. Beyond structuralism <ul><li>Representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘culture’ of signs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From words/sentences to discourse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Saussure to Foucault </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Researching culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience & Observation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnography </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Decoding the message
    11. 11. Decoding the message
    12. 12. Decoding the message
    13. 13. Decoding the message
    14. 14. Representation <ul><li>Representation is the production of meaning through language </li></ul><ul><li>We use signs organised into languages to symbolise, stand for, or reference objects, people or events in the ‘real’ world </li></ul><ul><li>But language does not work like a mirror. Meaning is produced in language – in the various representational systems we call language. </li></ul><ul><li>We engage in meaning-producing practices which can be understood as the work of representation. </li></ul>
    15. 15. From Language to Discourse <ul><li>Problems with the semiotic approach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions of representation are not limited to grammar and vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture is an interpretative system which belies definitive, fixed meanings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representation is about you and me – about social knowledge. Semiotics ‘displaced the subject’. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Representation needs to focus on the issues of what we know when and where we know it (historical and contextual), as well as the relations of power that influence knowledge. … enter Foucault. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Discursive approaches to representation <ul><li>Foucault </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discourse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Foucault - Discourse <ul><li>Foucault’s study of discourses of madness included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statements about madness which give us knowledge about madness; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The rules which prescribe what is ‘sayable’ or ‘thinkable’ about madness; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects who personify the discourses of madness, i.e. the ‘madman’; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The processes by which discourses of madness acquire authority and truth at a given historical moment; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The practices within institutions which deal with madness; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The idea that different discourses about madness will appear at late historical moments, producing new knowledge and a new discursive formation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barker, C. (2000) Cultural Studies. London Sage: 78-79 </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Foucault – the subject <ul><li>Bodies are subject to the regulatory power of discourse </li></ul><ul><li>Through discourse bodies become subjects for themselves and for others </li></ul><ul><li>Hence Foucault can talk of subjectivity as formed within the subject positions of discourse. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Foucault – the subject <ul><li>‘ [Foucault’s approach] suggests that discourses themselves construct the subject-positions from which they become meaningful and have effects. Individuals may differ … but they will not be able to take meaning until they have been able to identify with those positions which the discourse constructs, subjected themselves to its rules, and hence become the subjects of its power/knowledge . </li></ul><ul><li>Hall (1997): 56 </li></ul>
    20. 20. Summary from Hall <ul><li>Reflective </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional </li></ul><ul><li>Constructionist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural relativism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semiotics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discursive Practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ representation involves making meaning by forging links between three different orders of things: what we might broadly call the world of things, people events and experiences; the conceptual world – the mental concepts we carry around in our heads; and the signs, arranged into languages, which ‘stand for’ or communicate those concepts.’ (Hall 1997:61) </li></ul>