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The Concept Of
Binary Opposition
By:
Nigah Shah
Contents:
1. Definition
2. History
3. Concept of binaries in Islam
4. Theory of binary opposition in western thought
5. In...
Definition:
▫ A binary opposition (also binary system) is a pair of related terms or
concepts that are opposite in meaning...
History:
• Originated in Saussurean structuralist theory;
 The binary opposition is the means by which the units of
langu...
History (Cont..):
• In post-structuralism;
▫ One of the two opposites assumes a role of dominance over the other.
• Pieter...
Concept of binaries in Islam:
• Originated from the very first day the world was created
▫ Creation of Adam (A.A.S) and Bi...
Concept of binaries in Islam (cont…):
. Other good examples of binaries in Islam;
▫ Halal and Haram
▫ Reward and Punishmen...
Theory of binaries in Western thought:
• Most of the west including the post structuralism think that;
▫ In binary opposit...
Theory of binaries in Western thought (cont..):
• According to Nasser Maleki;
▫ People value one part of a binary oppositi...
Theory of binaries in Western thought (cont..):
• Claude Strauss :
▫ Anthropologist who originated in France in the early ...
• Examples;
▫ Binary opposites are very frequently used in films, especially in the
horror genre.
 Understanding of “Vill...
In Relation to Logo centrism:
• Logocentrism: (is an idea related to Binary Opposition)
• That says certain audiences will...
Logocentrism Example
• 'The Women and the Pot', an Amharic folktale.
 Story of two woman
 Diminished role in the society...
Binary Opposition In literature:
• The problems with a system of binary opposites;
▫ Boundaries between groups of people
▫...
Use of Binaries in literature:
• Example 1;
(J. K. Rowling’s novel )
▫ Harry Potter:
 There are two major groups:
The mag...
Example (cont…);
• Through this novel J.K. Rowling;
▫ Shows the dangers of creating such
categorizations within society.
•...
Conclusion:
• Two word related in terms of opposites are binary oppositions
• Structuralism says a word is defined of the ...
Conclusion (cont…):
• Logo centrism says people prefer anyone part from the opposite terms.
• In literature authors haves ...
The Concept of Binary Opposition
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The Concept of Binary Opposition

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The concept of binary opposition explained with its history.

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The Concept of Binary Opposition

  1. 1. The Concept Of Binary Opposition By: Nigah Shah
  2. 2. Contents: 1. Definition 2. History 3. Concept of binaries in Islam 4. Theory of binary opposition in western thought 5. In Relation to Logo centrism 6. Binary Opposition In literature 7. Conclusion
  3. 3. Definition: ▫ A binary opposition (also binary system) is a pair of related terms or concepts that are opposite in meaning. e.g.  Positive/ negative  Male/ female  Hero/ villain  Handsome/ ugly  Good/ bad
  4. 4. History: • Originated in Saussurean structuralist theory;  The binary opposition is the means by which the units of language have value or meaning.  Each unit is defined in reciprocal determination with another term  It is not a contradictory relation but, a structural, complementary one. • Sign's meaning is derived from its context ▫ Example of it is; one cannot conceive of 'good' if we do not understand 'evil'.
  5. 5. History (Cont..): • In post-structuralism; ▫ One of the two opposites assumes a role of dominance over the other. • Pieter Fourie discovers that binary oppositions have a deeper or second level of binaries that help to reinforce meaning ▫ An example; the concepts of hero and villain good/bad handsome/ugly, liked/disliked,
  6. 6. Concept of binaries in Islam: • Originated from the very first day the world was created ▫ Creation of Adam (A.A.S) and Bint-e-Hawa ▫ Angle and devil ▫ Concept of Heaven and Hell ▫ Obedience and Disobedience
  7. 7. Concept of binaries in Islam (cont…): . Other good examples of binaries in Islam; ▫ Halal and Haram ▫ Reward and Punishment ▫ Existence and non-existence ▫ Birth and death ▫ Followers and non-followers
  8. 8. Theory of binaries in Western thought: • Most of the west including the post structuralism think that; ▫ In binary oppositions there is absence and presence concept. ▫ Distinguishing between presence and absence, viewed as polar opposites • According to post- structuralism criticisms ▫ Presence occupies a position of dominance in Western thought over absence.
  9. 9. Theory of binaries in Western thought (cont..): • According to Nasser Maleki; ▫ People value one part of a binary opposition over another ▫ For example;  People give superiority to life rather than death. • According to Jacques Derrida; ▫ Meaning in the West is defined in terms of binary oppositions, “a violent hierarchy” where “one of the two terms governs the other.”  Example; Within the white/ black binary opposition in the United States.
  10. 10. Theory of binaries in Western thought (cont..): • Claude Strauss : ▫ Anthropologist who originated in France in the early 1900’s.  Meaning of a word is from our understanding of its opposite. • Example; A protagonist and antagonist or Heroine and villain.
  11. 11. • Examples; ▫ Binary opposites are very frequently used in films, especially in the horror genre.  Understanding of “Villain” is by the work of “Hero”.
  12. 12. In Relation to Logo centrism: • Logocentrism: (is an idea related to Binary Opposition) • That says certain audiences will favour one part of a binary opposition pair over the other. • This favoritism is often most strongly influenced by a readers' cultural background.
  13. 13. Logocentrism Example • 'The Women and the Pot', an Amharic folktale.  Story of two woman  Diminished role in the society  They Asked king for help  Message of the king ?  Moral
  14. 14. Binary Opposition In literature: • The problems with a system of binary opposites; ▫ Boundaries between groups of people ▫ Leads to prejudice and discrimination  White/ Black • In literature; ▫ Authors use to explore differences between groups of individuals, such as cultural, class or gender differences. ▫ What can result from those perceived differences?
  15. 15. Use of Binaries in literature: • Example 1; (J. K. Rowling’s novel ) ▫ Harry Potter:  There are two major groups: The magical community and non-magical community.  The muggle- born and half-bloods  The evil wizard Lord Voldemort  The use of dark magic
  16. 16. Example (cont…); • Through this novel J.K. Rowling; ▫ Shows the dangers of creating such categorizations within society. • Consider this image of a poster; ▫ 'Only one can survive,' reinforcing the idea of binary opposition .
  17. 17. Conclusion: • Two word related in terms of opposites are binary oppositions • Structuralism says a word is defined of the basis of its opposite word. • Post-structuralism in addition says one of the two words has a dominant position over the other, e.g. ‘on’ over ‘off’. • Concept of binaries in Islam is begin from the very first day and everything defined on the basics of binaries, e.g. halal and haram.
  18. 18. Conclusion (cont…): • Logo centrism says people prefer anyone part from the opposite terms. • In literature authors haves tried to explain the outcomes of binary opposition in the society. • What we conclude is; ▫ Binary oppositions are the backbone of any language, culture and philosophy.

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