Gender: Judith Butler In her most influential book Gender Trouble (1990), Butler argued that feminism had made a mistake by trying to assert that women were a group with common characteristics and interests. Butler notes that feminists rejected the idea that biology is destiny, but then developed an account of patriarchal culture which assumed that masculine and feminine genders would inevitably be built, by culture, upon male and female bodies, making the same destiny just as inescapable. That argument allows no room for choice, difference or resistance. The very fact that women and men can say that they feel more or less like a woman or like a man shows, Butler points out, that the experience of a gendered... cultural identity is considered an achievement. Butler argues that sex (male, female) is seen to cause gender (masculine, feminine) which is seen to cause desire (towards the other gender). This is seen as a kind of continuum. Butlers approach -- inspired in part by Foucault -- is basically to smash the supposed links between these, so that gender and desire are flexible, free- floating and not caused by other stable factors.
Gender: Judith ButlerButler argues that we all Butler says: There is no gender identity behindput on a gender the expressions of gender; ... identity isperformance, whether performatively constituted by the verytraditional or not, anyway, "expressions" that are said to be its results.and so it is not a question (Gender Trouble, p. 25). In other words, genderof whether to do a gender is a performance; its what you do at particularperformance, but what times, rather than a universal who you are.form that performance willtake. By choosing to bedifferent about it, wemight work to changegender norms and thebinary understanding ofmasculinity and femininity.
Gender: Angela McRobbieANGELA MCROBBIE BELIEVES THAT CULTURAL FEMALE EXPRESSION IS A SYMBOLIC REVOLT AGAINST THE CONSTRAINTS ON GIRL’S LIVESMcRobbie puts distance between herself and those feminist writers who denouncewomens magazines outright. Whilst some of their content may be disappointing tofeminist readers, McRobbie notes, many of the messages are positive andempowering to young women."The idea that sexual pleasure is learnt, not automatically discovered with the right partner, theimportance of being able to identify and articulate what you want sexually and what you do notwant, the importance of learning about the body and being able to make the right decisionsabout abortion and contraception, the different ways of getting pleasure and so on, each one ofthese figured high in the early feminist agenda. This was the sort of material found in books likeOur Bodies, Our Selves (Boston Womens Health Collective 1973), the volume which started as afeminist handbook and went on to sell millions of copies across the world.”- McRobbiePost Feminism & Beyond Lecture by Angela McRobbie:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk-QIXlx2wk&feature=player_embedded
Gender: Laura Mulvey The theory of the ‘Male Gaze’ has a very simple idea behind it. Mulvey believes that male audiences get a sense of power and pleasure from watching women in the media who are often represented as objects for male pleasure. This type of objectified woman is the media norm. Most media representations of women are mainly for men – for the male gaze. Mulvey’s theory argues that in nearly all media representations of women, the viewer is put in the masculine subject position, with the figure of the woman on screen as the object of desire. Viewers are encouraged to identify with the hero of the film, who is usually a man. Meanwhile, female characters are, according to Mulvey, there just to be looked at. In this way, the camera is like the eyes of a man, so we as the audience watch the images through the male gaze. Most media representations present men as active and in control and treat women as passive objects of desire… Women are not allowed to be desiring sexual subjects in their own right. Such texts objectify women in relation to ‘the controlling male gaze’, presenting ‘woman as image’ (or ‘spectacle’) and man as ‘bearer of the look’. Men do the looking; women are there to be looked at.
Gender: Laura Mulvey According to Mulvey, this is a patriarchal society. This means that it recognizes the male gender and the sexuality of men as the dominant norm. The media offers a system of representation based on the male pleasure of ‘looking’ – an erotic realm using the language and images of the patriarchal culture. It satisfies and reinforces the masculine ego and represses the desires of women. Laura Mulvey’s theory of the ‘male gaze’ is important; she contends that scopophilia (the basic human sexual drive to look at other human beings) has been ‘organised’ by society’s patriarchal definition of looking as a male activity, and being looked at as a female ‘passivity’. Male power means that any social representation of women is constructed either as a fetishised spectacle or as a spectacle for the purpose of male voyeuristic pleasure.
Sexuality: Queer TheoryQueer Theory“Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, thedominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identitywithout an essence. Queer then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative.”Queer theory is derived largely from post-structuralist theory, anddeconstruction in particular. Starting in the 1970s, a range of authors brought deconstructio"straight" ideology. Queer theorists challenged the validity and consistency of heteronormaThe term "queer theory" was introduced in 1990, with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,Judith Butler, Adrienne Rich and Diana Fuss
Sexuality: Queer Theory“…a rough summary of Queer Theory is that weshould not be defined by which sexual acts weperform, just like our gender is not defined bythe things we do. According to Queer Theory,the current labels we have for people don’t angelawd.wowork. That’s especially important because we rdpress.comhave only one label for sexual behavior betweenopposite sexes – heterosexual, while there arelots of labels for non-heterosexuals: gay, lesbian,trans-gender, queer, bisexual.”
Sexuality: Feminist TheoryFeminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical discourse. It aims tounderstand the nature of gender inequality. It examines womens social roles, experience, andfeminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication,psychoanalysis, economics, literary, education, and philosophy. While generally providing acritique of social relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on analyzing gender inequality andthe promotion of womens rights, interests, and issues.Feminists have taken many different approaches to the analysis of cinema. These include discussions of thefunction of women characters in particular film narratives or in particular genres, such as film noir, where afemale character can often be seen to embody a subversive sexuality that is dangerous to males and is ultimatelypunished with death. In considering the way that films are put together, many feminist film critics, such as LauraMulvey, have pointed to the "male gaze" that predominates in classical Hollywood film making. Through the useof various film techniques, such as shot reverse shot, the viewer is led to align themself with the point of view ofa male protagonist. Notably, women function as objects of this gaze far more often than as proxies for thespectator. Feminist film theory of the last twenty years is heavily influenced by the general transformation in thefield of aesthetics, including the new options of articulating the gaze, offered by psychoanalytical Frenchfeminism.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2987BtXC-U
Race: Stuart Hall Halls work covers issues of hegemony and cultural studies, taking a post-Gramscian stance. He regards language-use as operating within a framework of power, institutions and politics/economics. This view presents people as producers and consumers of culture at the same time. culture is not something to simply appreciate or study, but a "critical site of social action and intervention, where power relations are both established and potentially unsettled.” Hall has become one of the main proponents of reception theory, and developed Halls Theory of encoding and decoding. This approach to textual analysis focuses on the scope for negotiation and opposition on part of the audience. This means that the audience does not simply passively accept a text — social control. Crime statistics, in Halls view, are often manipulated for political and economic purposes. Moral panics (e.g. over mugging) could thereby be ignited in order to create public support for the need to "police the crisis." The media play a central role in the "social production of news" in order to reap the rewards of lurid crime stories. His works — such as studies showing the link between racial prejudice and media-have a reputation as influential. They serve as an important foundational text for contemporary cultural studies. Hall believes identity to be affected by history and culture, rather than a finished product, he sees it as ongoing production Hall has also widely discussed notions of: cultural identity & race and ethnicity
Race: Stuart HallHalls paper Encoding/decoding published in 1973 had a major influence on culturalstudies, and many of the terms it set forth remain influential in the field.The essaytakes up and challenges longheld assumptions on how media messages areproduced, circulated and consumed, proposing a new theory of communication.Halls essay challenged all three components of the mass communications model. Itargued that:(i) meaning is not simply fixed or determined by the sender(ii) the message is never transparent(iii) the audience is not a passive recipient of meaning
Race: Edward Said Orientalism by Said explained that at the start of European colonizationEdward Said is a the Europeans came in contact with the lessertext of cultural developed countries of the east. They found their studies which civilization and culture very interesting and established challenges the the science of orientalism (the study of the concept of orientals/people from these exotic civilization). orientalism or Said argues Europeans divided the world into two parts; the difference the east and the west or the civilized and the uncivilized- between east an artificial boundary and west. The Europeans used orientalism to define themselves. Some particular attributes were associated with the orientals, and whatever the orientals weren’t the occidents were. The Europeans defined themselves as the superior race compared to the orientals; and they justified their colonization by this concept. They said that it was their duty towards the world to civilize the uncivilized world.
Race: Edward Said The main problem, however, arose when the Europeans started generalizing the attributes they associated with orientals, and started portraying these artificial characteristics associated with orientals in their western world through their scientific reports, literary work, and other media sources. What happened was that it created a certain image about the orientals in the European mind and in doing that infused a bias in the European attitude towards the orientals. This prejudice was also found in the orientalists (scientist studying the orientals); and all their scientific research and reports were under the influence of this. The generalized attributes associated with the orientals can be seen even today, for example, the Arabs are defined as uncivilized people; and Islam is seen as religion of the terrorist.
Sub-cultures and youth: DickHebdidge Hebdiges Subculture: The Meaning of Style is so important: complex and remarkably lucid, its the first book dealing with punk to offer intellectual content. Hebdige [...] is concerned with the UKs postwar, music-centered, white working-class subcultures, from teddy boys to mods and rockers to skinheads and punks.’-Rolling StoneDick Hebdige argued that a subculture is a subversion to normalcy. He wrote thatsubcultures can be perceived as negative due to their nature of criticism to thedominant societal standard. Hebdige argued that subcultures bring together like-minded individuals who feel neglected by societal standards and allow them todevelop a sense of identity.
Sub-cultures and youth: Ken GelderIn 2007, Ken Gelder proposed to distinguish subcultures fromcountercultures based on the level of immersion in society. Gelderfurther proposed six key ways in which subcultures can beidentified:ii.through their often negative relations to work (as idle, parasitic,at play or at leisure, etc.);iii.through their negative or ambivalent relation to class (sincesubcultures are not class-conscious and dont conform totraditional class definitions);iv.through their association with territory (the street, the hood,the club, etc.), rather than property;v.through their movement out of the home and into non-domesticforms of belonging (i.e. social groups other than the family);vi.through their stylistic ties to excess and exaggeration (with someexceptions);vii.through their refusal of the banalities of ordinary life andmassification