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36 Cards in this Set

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1 of 5 Basic Assumptions of British Cultural Studies

1. The meanings and the making of meanings are connected to social structure and defined in terms of that structure and its history (Things are the way that they are because of our particular culture's social structure)

2 of 5 Basic Assumptions of British Cultural Studies

2. Capitalist societies are divided societies.

3 of 5 Basic Assumptions of British Cultural Studies

3. Social relationships are defined by social power and also through an unfixed hierarchy of domination and subordination that is constantly in struggle. (This is the difference between Marxism)

4 of 5 Basic Assumptions of British Cultural Studies

****KEY POINT****

4. In terms of culture, this struggle is for meaning. Within the struggle, the dominant classes attempt to manipulate the meanings that serve their interest into "common sense." Subordinate classes resist this process in varying ways, trying to make meanings that serve their own interest.

(Queer studies, Asian studies)

5 of 5 Basic Assumptions of British Cultural Studies

5. Culture is ideological


Marxism says that ideology is "false consciousness"

Althusser's theory of Ideology:

Ideology is an active system, constantly recreated and reformed in practice - in terms of the ways people think, act, and understand themselves and their relationship to society

Althusser's theory of Overdetermination:

In his theory of Overdetermination, he states that the dominant ideology utilizes the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) of the culture in order to ensure a continuation of the beliefs and systems of the dominant ideology.

More on Overdetermination:

Overdetermination replaces the base/superstructure model of Marxism. It allows the superstructure to influence the base, while also creating a relationship between ideology and culture that is not strictly decided by economic relations.

ISAs =

Ideological State Apparatuses: social institutions like religion, education, and language that affect the ideology, particularly produced the tendency to behave and think in socially acceptable ways.

One ISA is language: hailing, interpellation.

ISAs are in the superstructure.


Repressive State Apparatus: public organizations like police and law. Less of an influence on the dominant ideology than ISAs.

Hailing =

A break down of the ISA of language: Identifies power relationships through greetings.

(Little oriental cookie = woman, chinese)

Language constructs a social position for the addressee.

Interpellation =

A break down of the ISA of language: reflects the larger systems at play and how their representation of class, gender, and race places groups of people onto different conceptual, power-related maps.

(Native Americans = savages)

Gramsci's theory of Hegemony:

Antonio Gramsci's major contribution to Cultural Studies is Hegemony: which outlines the way one class wins the willing consent of the subordinate classes to the system that ensures their subordination.

Stuart Hall's theory of "Preferred Reading":

Three broad reading strategies that reflect the viewership of media texts which generally prefer a set of meanings that perpetuate the dominant ideology.

The Dominant Reading:

Produced by the viewer whose social situation places him or her in agreement with the dominant ideology, accepting it and the subjectivity that is produces.

(White male loving Wolf of Wall Street)

The Negotiated Reading:

Produced by a viewer who partly shares and accepts the dominant ideology, but also adjusts the meanings in order to reflect his or her own social position.

The Oppositional Reading:

Produced by a viewer whose own social situation places them in direct resistance to the dominant ideology.

Burden of Representation =

The act of an individual, typically well-known or the only one known in a particular scene, from a marginalized group, that experiences the pressure of having to represent for their entire "group."

Examples of the Burden of Representation =

(Being polite so others do not think of your whole culture as being impolite; People assuming that everything you believe everything the people in your group believe; People in your group relying on your representation of them)

Representation as delegation


Representation as depiction


1 of 2: Bell Hooks' opinion on "Paris is Burning"

-All the drag queens in the film want to be white and the film does not critique it.

-There is a power relationship between them and Jenny Livingston: they want to be like her (white, upper class)

-They are treated as a spectacle: White woman goes to Africa and comes back with the wonderful stories of the savage ppl

2 of 2: Bell Hooks' opinion on "Paris is Burning"

-We don't see who is making the film (who is framing it)

- She benefits from such a film and they are still in poverty and die

1 of 2: Ann Cvetkovich's opinion on "Paris is Burning"

-You don't have to have the same identity with subjects to make a film

- Not everything is about race! Look at class and gender (Sexuality) too

- Critiques Bell Hooks, says she is too harsh

2 of 2: Ann Cvetkovich's opinion on "Paris is Burning"


Modernity =

Hinging on the enlightenment, is a period which arose w the spread of Western imperialism in the 16th cent, mercantile capitalism of Northern Europe in 17th cent, the founding of colonial empires, and the widespread acceptance of scientific procedures. All about the factory, the city, urbanization, industrialization, and the "Fordism" of the 20th cent.

Modernism =

Refers to the movement and theory behind Modernity as a product of its time period & history.

Art: Abstract, critiques fragmentation/displacement of ppl (cubism, waiting for godot) but work only shown in elite museums, not reaching right people.

Arch: "International Style" Oppressive, similiar,

Postmodernity =

Arose in the 1960s to today, a time period about de-industrialization where automation replaces mechanizations. More people can go outside/work from home. Computer! TV! Post-Fordist (Mass Prod/Mass Consumption). We don't all have the same color and type of things.

Move to suburbs.

Postmodernism =

The aftermath and response to the Modernism, not an end.

Art: Response against "elitist" art & complexity no one could understand (Warhol, Duchamp). Brought mundane into museum. What is art? Started in Arch.

Arch: "Radical Eclecticism" Critiques coldness of modern arch; Local elements into buildings; Mixing styles/time periods

1 of 5: Recurring themes of postmodernism =

1. The Bombardment of signs: You never miss a show; Reflections of reflections (simulacra/hyperreal)

2 of 5: Recurring themes of postmodernism =

2. Irony, intertextuality & Hyperconsciousness:

Intertextuality = When you're able to quote from other texts

Parody = Pay omage

Pastiche = Borrow just because

3 of 5: Recurring themes of postmodernism =

3. Subjectivity, Bricolage & Ecelecticism:

Poaching = You take texts and make it meaningful for you (homoerotic relationship)

Bricolage = Watching something not intended for you/changing meaning to fit yours (Bronies; Getting high to Teletubbies)

Radical Ecelectism = Mixing things together (Genres; arch) Can't define genre as one

4 of 5: Recurring themes of postmodernism =

4. Commodification, Politics, Value:

No original content - using older texts and commodifying them

5 of 5: Recurring themes of postmodernism =

5. Other themes:

Amnesiac culture

Developed taste for MTV aesthetic

More tolerant to minorities

Post Modernism elements in "Paprika"


Cultural Studies elements in "Paris is Burning"