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Collective Identity: Plato, Butler & Foucault
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Collective Identity: Plato, Butler & Foucault

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  • 1. Media Theory“Almost everything (info, values, news, role models) comes to us through some media (TV, print, web, magazines, films) so will undoubtedly colour/influence our view of life and therefore our own self-definition.” (Thomas de Zengotita)
  • 2. We need to consider: to what extent is our identity constructed by media, to what extent do we use media and to what extent does media reflect identity. To do this successfully and meet the criteria of the specification we need to look at a couple of theoretical perspectives“Highly contemporary examples should be used and discussed in theoretical contexts” (Chief Examiner)
  • 3. Past, Present & Future“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” (Plato 428-348 BC)
  • 4. Application• So if we were to consider what Plato said all those many moons ago what could we suggest about Past and Present representations of British Youth Culture?• Let’s take a look at some past and present media.
  • 5. Past• Heres a report on the hooligan riots from 1898• They wore peaked caps, neck scarves, bell- bottom trousers and a hairstyle cropped close to the scalp. There were pitched battles between rival gangs, armed with iron bars, knives, powerful catapults and even guns. They patrolled their neighbourhoods shouting obscenities and pushing people down.
  • 6. 1970 KidsRule Comic
  • 7. Write down 4 key termsto describe how youth culture was being represented?
  • 8. Present Riot Scene from Harry Brown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U7rmjUG Cfw
  • 9. Future Watch the Shank trailer which is predicting London 2015.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfapOIPCRik
  • 10. Comparison• Are there any similarities between the past/present/future?• So was Plato pre-empting the future?• So this demonisation of youth is nothing particularly new. Also neither are the supposed causes of the bad behaviour - poor education, poverty, violence in the media, lack of opportunities, absence of parental guidance
  • 11. Making links to prior learning• How could you apply what you’ve learned about Stanley Cohen to our discussion of the past/present & future?“...society as presently structured will continue to present problems for some of it’s members” (Cohen, 1972)
  • 12. Let’s take this theme of demonisiation and issues surrounding youth being let down by the adult world (fromprevious lessons) and discuss the work of Judith Butler: the construction of Identity.
  • 13. Judith Butlers Performativity• Whilst her theory is specifically about gender identity – she makes points that can be applied to our study of identity as a universal concept.• There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; ... identity is performatively constituted by the very "expressions" that are said to be its results.‘• What do you think she is suggesting?
  • 14. Breaking Butler Down• gender is a performance; its what you do at particular times, rather than a universal who you are. The idea behind this is our identity (specifically here gender identity) is not defined by biology but is actually a performance learned as we grow• As media students we can apply to our study of identity as many of these performances and notions of identity will be learned from the media and/or other life influences.
  • 15. Michel Foucault• Focault would agree with Butler about Identity not being fixed.• He says “It is a shifting, temporary construction.”
  • 16. Task• In small groups create a collage of ideas, which provides specific examples from the texts we have looked at, so far in the unit, that support the ideas of Butler and Foucault.• Consider how a characters identity changed, situation depending, in the films we have looked at.