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Cultural Practice Media Cultures 1 (NEWM1001) Week 4 11 August 2009
The Practice of Everyday Life ( de Certeau, 1984) <ul><li>‘ To the ordinary man. </li></ul><ul><li>To a common hero, an ubiquitous character, walking in countless thousands on the streets…I inquire into the desire whose impossible object he represents… He is the murmuring voice of societies. In all ages, he comes before texts. He does not expect representations… </li></ul>
Discourse (Barthes) <ul><li>There are 2 ways in which this word is used (in Critical/Cultural Theory) </li></ul><ul><li>One or more sets of communication(s) that talk about the same thing, eg ‘ a discourse on ‘child-minding’ could include articles, films, training courses, posters and television programs that are involved in discussing ‘child-minding practices’. </li></ul>
Discourse (Foucault) <ul><ul><li>2. Michel Foucault’s idea of ‘discourse’ is something much more significant which operates in society – a force which is the result of all the discourses described before. Foucault’s describes discourse as a ‘framework’ of power . It is an idea that can be used to examine the ways in which power is used in society. This kind of discourse on ‘child-minding’ would examine all the ways in which a society thinks about children, men and women – all the myths that surround issues of child-minding. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
Power (Foucault) <ul><li>Power is the force in society, the urge to say, to decree what is ‘normal’. </li></ul><ul><li>Power relations have to do with who is dominated in society and by whom. </li></ul><ul><li>Power relations between people are affected by what is considered ‘normal’ and therefore ‘right’ </li></ul><ul><li>They are also affected by levels of knowledge </li></ul>
Foucault, Michel (1980). Power/Knowledge. Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 , New York: Pantheon Books <ul><li>‘It seems to me that power is “always already there”, that one is never “outside” it, that there are no “margins” for those who break with the system to gambol in … To say that one can never be “outside” power does not mean that one is trapped and condemned to defeat no matter what… there are no relations of power without resistances …’ (Foucault,1980: 142-3) </li></ul>
Social Discourse (Foucault’s idea again but in Buchbinder’s words) <ul><li>‘ Social or cultural discourse … determines what can be spoken about, and in what terms and with what sorts of values. It also determines who has the authority to speak about, and to whom, and who can only be spoken to.’ </li></ul><ul><li>David Buchbinder (1998). Performance Anxieties : re-producing masculinity. St. Leonards, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 1998, 11. </li></ul>
Hegemony <ul><li>A concept developed by Antonio Gramsci and further developed within a particular stage of Marxist Theory to explain the ways in which people can ‘allow’ themselves to be put at a disadvantage – how people accept that it is ‘normal’, right for them to be dominated by interests which are not their own. They are the processes, reasoning and ideas that people use to justify the status quo , the way things are, whether or not the situation is to their advantage or not. These processes are not ‘visible’ except through looking at all the particular myths and discourses of society. </li></ul>
<ul><li>‘Hegemony is a form of power based on leadership by a group in many fields of activity at once, so that its ascendancy commands widespread consent and appears natural and inevitable.’ Hall, 1997, p259 </li></ul>
Orlan is a performance artist who uses her own body and the procedures of plastic surgery to make "carnal art". She is transforming her face, but her aim is not to attain a commonly held standard of beauty.