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Foucault and Giddens
 

Foucault and Giddens

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    Foucault and Giddens Foucault and Giddens Presentation Transcript

    • MICHEL FOUCAULT
      • French theorist who focussed his studies on Philosophy, Sociology and History.
      • In Media, his theories regarding Identity can be discussed with regard to Kidulthood and Notting Hill.
      • As a society, we have constructed the idea that peoples’ identities are the person we are on the inside. We believe this is defined by factors such as gender, age, class, sexuality.
      • The idea is that this never changes: we are who we are.
      WHAT WE THINK OF IDENTITY
      • Foucault (pronounced foo-co) disagrees with this view. Identity is not fixed and is not defined by what we would first consider.
      • Identity does not limit people into particular roles and categories because nothing is fixed – it is free floating.
      WHAT HE SAYS…
      • He sees identity as a form of oppression and a way of exercising power over people, preventing them from moving outside fixed boundaries .
      • He disagrees with the notion of collective identity, that nobody should conform to a set of rules to define them.
      WHAT HE SAYS…
      • In terms of power being a part of a person’s identity, Foucault is keen to point out that we as people do not possess power, we exercise it.
      • We are not born powerful people, it is a learned behaviour, exercised over people.
      WHAT HE SAYS…
      • However, Foucault points out that where there is power there is resistance.
      • From an ideological point of view, identities are constructed by the ruling classes to oppress particular members of society (youth). This power over them keeps them in their place – they are constrained within the boundaries of that identity unless there is resistance.
      WHAT HE SAYS…
    • ANTHONY GIDDENS
      • Anthony Giddens is a Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.
      • In Media, we can study his work on Self Identity and how the modern world influences this.
      • Giddens takes a slightly different approach to self identity than Foucault.
      • He talks about identity being a conscious activity. He says how traditionally we have found ourselves in clearly defined roles based on age, gender, sexuality. Nowadays, we have to work out these roles for ourselves.
      WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY
      • Giddens says that even those who have never given any thought to questions or anxieties about their own identity will inevitably have been compelled to make significant choices throughout their lives.
      • These could be everyday questions about clothing, appearance and leisure to high-impact decisions about relationships, beliefs and occupations. It is this conscious thought process that, according to Giddens defines our identity.
      WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY
      • Giddens believes post-modern society has brought about this change. Attitudes towards relationships, religion and sexuality have altered thanks to changing views, laws and of course, the mass media.
      • People are more open about their sexuality, there is a rise in divorce, a decline in numbers going to church and the media reflects this.
      WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY
      • We are encouraged, he says to “reflect” on ourselves in problem pages in magazines, seek similarities in our lifestyles with soap characters.
      • Since almost nobody on TV remains happily married for a lifetime - whether we're talking about fictional characters or real-life public figures - we inevitably receive a message that stability is, at best, a rare 'ideal', which few can expect to achieve.
      WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY
      • Information and ideas from the media do not merely reflect the social world, but contribute to its shape, and are central to a person reflecting on who they are.
      GIDDENS FINAL THOUGHTS