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Module 4: Critical Approaches to Responding to Media Texts

Objectives: After completing this module you should be able to: - identify specific methods employed in using the different critical approaches employed in analyzing media texts: rhetorical/audience, semiotic, poststructuralist, critical discourse analysis, feminist, postmodern, postcolonial. - contrast the differences between these approaches in terms of their assumptions about the meaning of media texts. - apply these specific critical approaches to analysis of a media text.

One of the basic goals of media literacy is to help students adopt a critical stance in responding to media texts. As noted in Module 1, there are a number of different assumptions about teaching media, resulting in the uses of different critical approaches. For example, critical pedagogy advocates often promote a focus on ideological or economic aspects of media. In this module, you will learn about a number of different critical approaches or lenses for responding critically to media texts. You will be using these different approaches throughout this course to respond to and analyze media texts. For example, in the module on analyzing media representations, you need to know how to apply critical discourse analysis to analyze the underlying beliefs and attitudes inherent in gender, race, class, or age is represented in the media. Or, in the module on media ethnography, you need to know how to apply rhetorical analysis in order to examine how audiences respond to media texts. You will also be considering ways of teaching students to using these approaches. For some grade levels, these approaches may be too sophisticated, requiring that you to clarify or simplify an approach, or simply not employing that approach. There is no easy distinction between these different approaches. In some cases, you will combine the different approaches and in other cases, you may use only one approach. These activities in this module are designed to help you learn to apply these approaches to different media texts.

This module only scratches the surface in terms of describing different critical theories. For more in-depth discussion of these different approaches see Julian Wolfreys, Introducing Literary Theories (Edinburgh University Press, 2001), and as used in secondary classrooms, see Deborah Appleman, Critical Encounters In High School English: Teaching Literary Theory To Adolescents (New York: Teachers College Press, 2000) ; Alan Carey-Webb, Literature & Lives: A Response-Based, Cultural Studies Approach To Teaching English (NCTE, 2001). For the application of different critical approaches in media, see Arthur Berger, Media Analysis Techniques (Sage, 1998). For a very useful, readable introduction to a lot of concepts employed in critical analysis of the media, as well as examples of classroom applications of these concepts, see Jeffrey Nealon and Suan Giroux, The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (Rowland and Littlefield, 2003). For other applications of critical approaches to media: Altheide, D. (1996). Qualitative Media Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Bignell, J. (2003). An introduction to television studies. New York: Routledge. Couldry, N. (2003). Media Rituals: A Critical Approach. New York: Routledge. Elsaesser, T., & Buckland, W. (2002). Studying Contemporary American Films: A Guide to Movie Analysis. London: Arnold. Everett, A., & Caldwell, J. (Eds.). (2003). New media: Theories and practices of digitextuality. New York: Routledge. Fuery, P., & Fuery, K. (2003). Visual Cultures and Critical Theory. London: Arnold. Hill, J., & Gibson, P. C. (Eds.) (2000). Film studies: Critical approaches. London: Oxford University Press. Miller, T., & Stam, R. (Eds.). (2003). A Companion to Film Theory. London: Blackwell. Simpson, P., Utterson, A., & Shepherdson, K. (Eds.). (2003). Film theory: Critical concepts in media and cultural studies. New York: Routledge. Strinati, D. (2004). An introduction to theories of popular culture. New York: Routledge. For abstracts of the following books on critical theories, see: http://www.theory.org.uk/ctb-cs.htm Macey, D. (2001). The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory. New York: Penguin. Brooker, P. (1999). A Concise Glossary of Cultural Theory. London: Arnold. Cashmore, E., & Rojek, C. (Eds). (1999). Dictionary of Cultural Theorists. London: Arnold, Natoli, J. (1997). A Primer to Postmodernity. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Baldwin, E., et al. (1999). Introducing Cultural Studies. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Barry, P. (1995), Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press Strinati, D. (1995). An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. Green, K., & Bihan, J. (1995). Critical Theory and Practice: A Coursebook. New York: Routledge.

For an excellent site with lots of links to different critical theorist and applications to media: http://www.theory.org.uk/main.htm Illuminations: The Critical Theory Website http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/ Popcultures http://www.popcultures.com/ For a college course taught by Dino Felluga applying different critical theories to popular culture: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/%7Efelluga/pop/

For journals applying critical theory perspectives to media and film: Alt-X http://www.altx.com/home.html CTheory (on-line journal) http://www.ctheory.net/ Bright Lights Film Journal http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/ Enculturation http://enculturation.gmu.edu/issues.html Images: a Journal of Film and Popular Culture http://www.imagesjournal.com/index.html

Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media http://www.ejumpcut.org/home.html Pop Matters http://PopMatters.com/

Applying Critical Perspectives to an Ad As you move through this module, you will be applying the various critical perspectives to a 30 second Secret deodorant ad. In this ad, portraying a wife and husbands conversation in a kitchen, the wife is nervously preparing to ask her boss for a raise, something her husband is encouraging her to do. After she returns from meeting with the boss, he is prepared to celebrate the fact that she may have gotten a raise by opening a bottle of Champaign, only to have her inform him thats shes decided to quit in order to go back to school. What this mini-drama has to do with underarm odor is a stretch, but one could assume that for such an important meeting with the boss, its important to use a deodorant. There may also be a double-play on secret associated with the wifes real intention of wanting to return to school.

Rhetorical/Audience Analysis In adopting a rhetorical/audience analysis approach to studying media texts, students examine the ways in which media texts seek to gain their audiences identification with a certain message or belief. They engage in audience analysis activities in which they define the intended or target audience: Who is this text being written for?, the signs, markers, images, language, social practices imply that audience, and the underlying value assumptions. For example, in the advertising Module 6, you will consider how ads attempt to construct audiences such as the Pepsi Generation, by portraying people engaged in enjoyable activities as they are consuming Pepsi. Such ads are not only attempting to persuade audiences to purchase Pepsi, but they are also creating an audience with which viewers may or may not identify, audiences who may imagine themselves as also engaged in the same enjoyable activities through consuming Pepsi. In communications studies, the traditional model of communication is that of a sender and a receiver who decodes messages sent by the sender. However, the process is actually a lot more complex than this model suggests. Audiences assume a lot more active role in constructing meaning than simply serving as a passive decoder. Audiences construct meanings based on their purposes for viewing, beliefs, attitudes, stances, or needs. The contexts in which they are responding also shape the ways in which they respondaudiences will respond quite differently to a film with a vocal group of college student viewers in a campus theater than in a sedate suburban shopping mall theater. There are three different paradigms for thinking about audience response to the media (Abercrombie & Longhurst, 2001): behavioral, incorporation/resistance, and spectacle/performance. Behavioral. A behavioral approaches is primarily interested in audience uses or gratification of the media, for example, research on the effects of television viewers addiction to viewing long hours of television on their beliefs and attitudes. As we noted in Module 2, the controller/interventionists often assume a behavioral perspective in expressing their concern with the negative effects of viewing the media on viewers behavior or attitudes. For example, there has been considerable research on television viewing and violence. One study conducted by Jeffrey Johnson of Columbia University and published in Science Magazine found that teenagers who, at the mean age 14, watched more than three hours a day of television were much more likely than those who watched less than one hour a day of television to commit subsequent acts of aggression against other people

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/parenting/03/28/kids.tv.violence/ Uses and Gratification media research in England http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/usegrat.html ERIC Digest: Television Violence and Behavior: A Research Summary http://www.ericfacility.net/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed366329.html American Psychological Association: Violence on Television - What do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do? http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/violence.html The Center for the Study of Effects of Television site includes a lot of this research on media effects: http://www.ithaca.edu/cretv/ Research on the effects of television viewing is certainly important, particularly given the adverse effects of viewing on young children. For example, a study of 1,300 children found that 1-year-olds and 3-year-olds who watched just one hour of TV daily had 10 percent more risk of attention problems by age 7 than children who watched none at all. The higher the viewing, the more the risk of ADHD. One-year-olds who watched three to four hours of TV had a 30 to 40 percent heightened risk of attention problems compared with children with no TV viewing. These high levels of viewing by children are not unusualchildren under 6 watch an average of 2 hours a day; 2/3rds of children are in home in which the TV is on at least half the time, Christakis, C., Zimmerman, D., DiGiuseppe, D., McCarty, C. (2004). Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Pediatrics, 113(4). http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/113/4/708 Given research on the adverse effects of TV viewing on children, the American Academy of Pediatrics makes the following recommendations regarding childrens TV viewing: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics%3b107/2/423 1. Limit children's total media time (with entertainment media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day. 2. Remove television sets from children's bedrooms. 3. Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together. 4. Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Most programs should be


6. 7. 8. 9.

informational, educational, and nonviolent. View television programs along with children, and discuss the content. Two recent surveys involving a total of nearly 1500 parents found that less than half of parents reported always watching television with their children. Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality, and drugs. Use the videocassette recorder wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children. Support efforts to establish comprehensive media-education programs in schools. Encourage alternative entertainment for children, including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.

However, much of this research, especially with older audiences, assumes a cause and effect relationship between viewing certain content and behaving according to the behavior portrayed. For example, it is assumed that viewing acts of violence in a television program or film will lead a viewer to engage in violence or condone violence. While research shows that this may be the case with younger children, assuming that an image of violence causes one to act in violent ways glosses over individual differences in viewers beliefs and attitudes, which are more likely to be shaped by their families, peer group, schools, or religious orientations. It is also the case that viewers adopt different stances towards different texts. They may adopt a critical stance that challenges the notion of violence as a means of coping with problems. They may also adopt a stance in which they recognize the disparity between fiction and reality noting that the texts they are viewing is not realthat it is a fictional account of reality. And, assuming that viewing television violence will necessarily lead all adolescents to engage in violent acts may lead to attempts to restrict television viewing, restrictions, as a study by Amy Nathanson of Ohio State University found, can only lead adolescents to view programs at friends homes. She found that parents who discuss issues related to television with their older children rather than just restrict viewing are more likely to influence what their children watch. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/watchtv.htm In his essay, Ten Things Wrong with the Effects Model, David Gauntlett argues that research on media effects often perceives adolescents as inadequate victims, reflects a conservative philosophy, applies biases definitions of media texts as anti-social, is based on artificial, lab-based studies with questionable methodology, employs selective definitions of violence, adopts a superior attitude towards a mass audience, does not attempt to understanding variations in the meanings of media texts, and is not grounded in theory. http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm

For a discussion of the problems with research on media effects: Barrett. R. T. J. (1997). Making Our Own Meanings: A Critical Review Of Media Effects Research In Relation To The Causation Of Aggression And Social Skills Difficulties In Children And Anorexia Nervosa In Young Women. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 4(3). http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2850.1997.00059.x/abs/ However, it is still important to examine the ways in which media texts may serve to shape behavior and attitudes. Media can represent in the world in ways that shape behavior and attitudes, for example, regarding perceptions of the environment, political values, desired body weight, etc. Incorporation/resistance. A second perspective on audience (Abercrombie & Longhurst, 2001) focuses more on how audiences incorporate or resists stances or positioning by media texts. In contrast to the behavioral approach, it posits that audience beliefs and attitudes play an important role in shaping the meaning of texts. It also focuses on how audiences accept or reject the ways in which they are positioned to adopt these beliefs and attitudes. For a discussion of how audiences are positioned, see: http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/IDS3305/module3p5.html For example, television or magazine ads for casino gambling invite viewers and readers to accept the belief that gambling is as an enjoyable activity. Elizabeth Ellsworth (1997) describes how texts employ modes of address to position readers or viewers to adopt certain desired responses consistent with certain value stances. For example, a text may position a viewer to adopt a sexist or racist stance which a reader or viewer may accept or reject. A reader or viewer may reject the casino gambling ads as not portraying the reality of gambling as leading to financial ruin or gambling addiction. Identification. A key concept in studying positioning is the idea of identification. Media texts are seeking to gain an audiences identification with a certain set of beliefs, cause, group, product, organization, or cause. They hope that an audience will connect with or subscribe to the beliefs or ideology being portrayed. Media texts create identification through equations between images and language. For example, the Pepsi ad equates a group of young, attractive people enjoying themselves with drinking Pepsi. The equation here is between the image of the people and the product. Or, a Subaru L. L. Bean Outback ad portraying the car driving through a forest equates the car with the image of L. L. Bean as nature along with the archetypal world of the forest, serving to equate

the car with active engagement with nature or the natural world. Audiences who respond positively to the image of being young/attractive or nature, are then linked to the product by gaining your identification with these images, the ad also asks you to identify with use of the product. In the Secret ad, audiences are being positioned in ways that foster equations between their own anxieties about being successful or avoiding embarrassment and use of a deodorant. Stances/positioning. Media texts are also positioning audiences to adopt certain stances or subject positions associated with beliefs, attitudes, or ideological orientations, what we will describe as discourses (see Critical Discourse Analysis below). The classic example in film in the male-gaze stance, in which males are positioned to adopt a voyeuristic stances towards images of females based on traditional discourses of masculinity (the notion of the male-gaze has been interrogated by critics who argue that the process is complicated by how women may also gaze at male and/or female images.) Discourses are ways of knowing or thinking that media texts hope to promote in audiences certain beliefs, attitudes, or ideological orientations. In a discourse of traditional masculinity, females are perceived as subordinate sex objects of male desire. Audiences are also physically positioned to adopt certain perspectives or stances through the use of camera work. For example, much of current television news as well as law enforcement and security has employed surveillance cameras. Television news programs employ helicopter shots of traffic and crime scenes to provide dramatic visual representations to engage audiences in sensational visual shots. Police and security employ an extensive system of surveillance cameras in towns, buildings, and airports. And, television programs exploit the use of home videos to provide entertaining, candid camera portraits of people doing embarrassing, foolish things. These surveillance representations invite viewers to view a place or space from the privileged stance of an outsider who can witness an activity without being implicated by any participation in that activity. The live-CNN coverage of O.J. Simpson riding in his White Ford Bronco on the LA Freeway is an example of the use of surveillance camera work that invites a voyeuristic perspective. As we noted in Module 2, Stuart Hall contrasts the audience stances of simply accepting a texts invited stance to challenging, interrogating, or opposing the invited stances. One of your goals in media education is to help students learn to challenge, interrogate, and oppose how they are being positioned by a media text. In working with students, you may have them define what they perceive to be ways in which they are positioned to adopt certain beliefs and attitudes. To do that, begin with an ad with which they can infer a relatively obvious intended message or idea, for example, with a Pepsi ad, that drinking Pepsi leads to popularity with others. Ask them: How are you being

positioned by this ad? Have them then note what aspects of the adthe images or signs (see Semiotic Theory below) that imply this intended message or idea. Have them then note whether they accept or reject this intended message or idea. Audiences accept or resist/reject these invited stances given their own larger beliefs and attitudes as shaped by their own socialization in families, schools, peer groups, or community/religious organizations. They may recognize that they are being invited to adopt stances or beliefs that run counter to their own beliefs. They may also recognize that they are being manipulated, particularly in the case of propaganda, to accept beliefs and attitudes counter to their own beliefs and attitudes. While much of this module argues the need to focus on audience response and construction of meaning, it is also important to examine some of the limitations of focusing on audiences in terms of understanding how media texts mean: Philip Hanes, The Advantages and Limitations of a Focus on Audience in Media Studies http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/pph9701.html Spectacle/performance. A third perspective focuses more on the larger contemporary cultural context in which audiences no longer simply are shaped by or resist ideological stances, but are now active consumers or producers in a mediascape or media spectacles and events mediated by the media (Abercrombie & Longhurst, 2001). Audiences assume active roles as participants in Internet chat rooms, computer games, interactive television, sports/music events, entertainment retail/shopping, and theme parks. In focusing on audiences as active participants in a media-saturated culture, students begin to consider how their own identities are constituted through their uses of the media. They also focus on how media technologies serve to mediate events in the culturehow their experiences in events are shaped by different media. Abercrombie and Longhurst posit that there are three different types of audiences, simple audiences, mass audiences, and diffused audiences. The differences between these audiences reflect historical changes from audiences responding to direct, public performances to responding to media texts. Simple audiences. Simple audiences experience a direct communication between performer and audience in a specific public space, for example, in a theater, concert hall, or rock concert. These performance events involve a lot of public ceremony, in which, for example, at the end of the play, the actors are applauded. There is a high level of distance between the audience and the eventaudiences have little or influence on the performance. But, they are highly attentive to what it happening in the event or on the stage.

Mass audiences. With the advent of mass communications associated with the printing press, radio, and television, the communication event became mediated by these different forms. Radio mediates the connection between a live concert and a mass audience. As a result, the performance event can now be global. But in contrast to the role assumed by the simple audience, the mass audience responds in more of a private contextviewing television in ones home. And, the distance between performer and audience is very high there is little or no public interaction with the performance. Moreover, while the simple audience attended directly to the performance, the mass audiences attention may varya television viewer could be engaged in other tasks while she is viewing a program. Diffused Audiences. For Abercrombie and Longhurst, the diffused audience reflects the more contemporary uses of a range of different types of media as part of everyday life. For example, adolescents now devote 4 1/2 hours a day to participation with computers (computer games, e-mail, buddy chat, web surfing), television, CDs, DVDs, or radio). These media uses are often a backdrop to doing other tasks, for example, listening to the radio or CDs while one works. In contrast to simple or mass audiences, the diffused audiences actively engage in media performances as a way of constructing their identities. For example, in assuming the role of active professional sports team fans, audiences may display their identity as a fan through logos, photos, clothes, etc., attending events/pre-game cook-outs, playing fantasy sports games, and sharing information about the team in everyday discussion. Their identity as a fan is also reflected in their attachment to the team and knowledge about the team. Or, audiences may become an active member of a rock bands fan club through participating as a member of a listserve or web-based exchange (Harrington & Bielby, 1995; Harris & Alexander, 1998; Nightingale, 1996). For a discussion of audiences uses of the media: http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/IDS3305/module3p1.html http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/IDS3305/module3p7.html Low-income adolescents media uses, Media, Culture and Meaning Research Project, University of Colorado's Center for Mass Media http://www.colorado.edu/journalism/mcm/teens/index.htm In the mediascape, the media serves as a resource for the imagination. Audiences are using the media to construct modes of escape or day dreams, as well as alternative identities through their identification with media stars or vicarious/actual participation in media events. They gain a sense of status with peers through their knowledge of intertextual links between

film, magazine, TV interviews, advertisements, and stars. Audiences in the mediascape define themselves as members of symbolic, imagined communitiesas participants in conservative talk-show communities, evangelical communities, buyer/consumer communities, sports-fan communities, or television program fan communities (something that is the focus of Module 8: Media Ethnography), for example, members of soap opera fan clubs: http://www.soapcentral.com/ps/fanclubs.php television program fan clubs: http://www.fandom.tv/ online book clubs: http://www.his.com/~allegria/clubs.html In contrast to mass audiences, diffuse audiences are globalthey are not restricted in space and time. They may participate in a computer game with players from all over the world. In contrast to formal theater-going, such participation requires little or no ceremony and low or variable attention. In their participation in the mediascape, Abercrombie and Longhurst also note that adolescent audiences may experience high levels of narcissisma self-absorption associated with participation and consuming to fulfill their own desires as opposed to considering the perspectives and needs of others. The world becomes as object of spectacle in which experiences are treated as part of seeing and being seen. Audiences adopt a possessive gaze that focuses on surface images and brands associated with coolness or status. This focus on the self-absorbed project of the self leads adolescents to perceive everything in terms of the already existing selfhow does what I am viewing/reading serve my current needs as a media consumer, as opposed to how may I change my beliefs and attitudes regarding larger issues in the world. For example, in responding to teen magazines, adolescents react to portrayals of celebrities as ideal models of the self, portrayals that focus on appearance, personal relationships, star success, and fame, as opposed to social or cultural beliefs or political commitments. These portrayals reflect largely white, middle-class, Western, consumerist values. Thus, media texts primarily flatter and appease the self, rather than challenge self through presenting alternative cultural perspectives or alternative values that serve to challenge audiences cultural identities. Another feature of the mediascape is the focus on media spectacle, particularly as

constructed by cable news network coverage of events such as the Gulf War, O.J. Simpson trial, Monica Lewinsky scandal, etc., as well as sports championshipsthe Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup soccer, NCAA Final-Four championships, NBA championships, Stanley Cup championship, etc. These media events are dramatized and sensationalized through non-stop visual portrayals, interviews with participants and experts, non-stop/continuous updating of the latest information, and uses of graphics/backdrops to heighten the drama. For Douglas Kellners chapter on moving from media culture to media spectacle: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/mediaspectacleintro.htm In the mediascape, there is an increasing blurring or breakdown of the distinction between fiction and real, as evident in reality television shows or duo-documentary. The reality-TV show constructs its own version of television reality that begins to substitute for audiences perceptions of what constitutes lived-world experiences. Audiences view real people as audience participants themselves performing in ways that model ways of behaving the in mediascape. Program participants, for example, are shown consuming products or selecting peers in terms of practices associated with celebrity status. Because blogs about reality TV shows are an important part of the audience experience of those shows, it is often useful to study audience reactions as articulated on those blogs: http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/ http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/ http://www.thebigblogshow.com/blog.htm http://www.digitalsqueeze.com/drupal/node/view/2268 http://www.lit.org/view/7295 Reality TV links http://www.realitytvlinks.com/index2.html http://www.realitytvplanet.com/ http://www.realitytvworld.com/ http://www.sirlinksalot.net/realitytelevision.html For further reading on reality TV: Andrejevic, M. (2003). Reality TV: The work of being watched. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Brenton, S., & Cohen, R. (2003). Shooting people: Adventures in reality TV. London: Verso Books. Calvert, C. (2000). Voyeur nation: Media, privacy, and peering in modern culture. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Friedman, J. (Ed.) (2002). Reality squared: Televisual discourse on the real. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Holmes, S., & Jermyn, D. (Eds.). (2004). Understanding reality television. New York: Routledge. Smith, M., & Wood, A. (Eds.). (2003). Survivor lessons: Essays on communication and reality television. New York: MacFarland & Co. A rhetorical analysis focuses on how these audiences are constructed as active consumers of experiences, events, objects, or services as commodities through the creation of needs related to status/identity. A key concept is the notion of identificationthe idea that media texts position audiences in ways that gain their identification with certain beliefs or values, for example, ways of being cool. As noted in Module 5 (Advertising), by viewing people in ads engaged in certain practices, audiences identify with those practices and then equate those practices with the concept of success, status, being cool, popularity, or with-it-ness. For example, as illustrated in the documentary, Merchants of Cool, advertisers create images that portray consumption of certain products with being coolcelebrity sports stars ridiculing their own participation in Sprite adsconveying a sense of coolness with which audiences want to identify. Audiences then equate drinking Sprite with being cool. To view the 53 minute PBS Frontline program, Merchants of Cool: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/view/ For a discussion of audiences consumer roles: http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/IDS3305/module5p2.html http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/IDS3305/module3p4b.html In a world of consumption, experiences, objects, artifacts, people, and ideas are perceived and constructed as things to be consumedthey become commodities. For example, places, sites, cities, landmarks, or foreign lands, are perceived as sites for tourism in which tourists assign meanings to these places, sites, cities, landmarks, or foreign lands, are consumed as escapes, exciting, different, hip, out of the ordinary, exotic, romantic, etc. Another feature of consumption is the homogenization or standardization of consumer experiences so that these experiences are predictable, safe, and familiar. For a discussion of the McDonaldalization of the world, see: http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell30.htm For a discussion of the politics of consumption

http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR24.3/schor.html Niche audiences. Much of the mass media is geared for specific niche audiences who prefer particular types of entertainment or information (Seiter, 1999). Rather than everyone reading the same magazineas they did in the past with LIFE or The Saturday Evening Post, readers now read their own specialty magazines. And, rather that all watching only the same three networksNBC, ABC, and CBS, cable televisions viewers now can select from hundreds of different channels tailored to their own interests in news, sports, drama, hobbies, music, or entertainment. These selections may also be geared to differences in gender, class, race, or age, as is the case in which MTV music videos are geared to white, middle-class, male, early adolescents who adopt a voyeuristic stance in response to gangstra music videos. All of this specialization towards specialty, niche audiences results in a fragmentation of audience identification with or allegiance to shared communities. Visual Rhetoric: lots of links on the University of Iowa Communications Department site http://www.uiowa.edu/~commstud/resources/visual.html For further reading on audience and film/media (see also Module 8) Ang, I. (1995) Living room wars: Rethinking media audiences for a postmodern world. New York: Routledge. Bird, E. (2003). The audience in everyday life: Living in a media world. New York: Routledge. Brooker, W., & Jermyn, D. (Eds.). (2002). The audience studies reader. New York: Routledge. Coleman, R. (Ed.). (2002). Say it loud!: African-American audiences, media, and identity. New York: Routledge. Dickinson, R., Harindranath, R., & Linne, O., eds. (1998). Approaches to audiences: A reader. London: Arnold. Hay, J., Grossberg, L., & Wartella, E., eds. (1996). The audience and its landscape. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hills, M. (2002). Fan cultures. New York: Routledge. MacKay, H., ed. (1997). Consumption and everyday life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Seiter, E. (1999). Television and new media audiences. New York: Oxford University Press. Swan, K., Meskill, C., & DeMaio. (1998). Social learning from broadcast television. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. Taylor, G. (2001). Artists in the audience: Cults, camp, and American film criticism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Stacey, J. (1993). Star gazing: Hollywood cinema and female spectatorship. New York: Routledge.

Wenner, L. (1998). MediaSport. New York: Routledge. Application: What types of audiences is the Secret ad directed towards? What are the intended beliefs and actions? What specific images and social practices are used to position audiences to adopt these beliefs and actions?

Semiotic Theory Semiotic theory focuses on the social and cultural meaning of signs and codes (Scholes, 1982; 1985). Signs consist of an image, a word, an object or even a certain type of practice. The meaning of signs depends on the relationships between the signifier (the image, word, object, or practice), the signified (the implied meaning), and the referent (what the image, word, object, or practice refers to) (Scholes, 1982). A yellow yield sign is a signifier that conveys the meaning-the signified, to yield to other cars. The referent is the actions referred to, in this case, yielding to other cars. People learn that the colors red and green as signifiers have certain signified meanings--stop and go, with the referent being stopping and starting a car on the street based on a set of cultural codes and conventions (Peim, 1993). Roland Barthes, a key figure in semiotic theory, argues that the meaning of images are cultural and ideological. In his book, Elements of Semiology (the first half of this book is available on-line: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/fr/barthes.htm Barthes, The Rhetoric of the Image http://mh.cla.umn.edu/ebibld4.html Barthes describes the ways in which the sign assumed cultural meanings: The semiological sign is also, like its model, compounded of a signifier and a signified (the colour of a light, for instance, is an order to move on, in the Highway Code), but it differs from it at the level of its substances. Many semiological systems (objects, gestures, pictorial images) have a substance of expression whose essence is not to signify; often, they are objects of everyday use, used by society in a derivative way, to signify something: clothes are used for protection and food for nourishment even if they are also used as signs. We propose to call these semiological signs, whose origin is utilitarian and functional, sign-functions. The sign-function bears witness to a double movement, which must be taken apart. In a first stage (this analysis is purely operative and does not imply real temporality) the function becomes pervaded with meaning. This semantisation is inevitable: as soon as there is a society, every usage is converted into a sign of itself; the use of a raincoat is to give protection from the rain, but this use cannot be dissociated from the very signs of an atmospheric situation. Since our society produces only standardised, normalised objects, these objects are unavoidably realisations of a model, the speech of a language, the substances of a significant form.

In summarizing the work of Barthes, Ron Burnett (1991) describes the ways in which images take on ideological meanings by citing the example of the image of a gun in the film, Dirty Harry: Images are seen as carriers of meaning and as such there is an assumption of fixity which is often equated to a powerful effect. Effectivity is then used as an argument to explain the referential power of the image. For without reference the image would not mean, yet clearly, the object named "gun" is dramatically different from the image named gun. The naming, the classification, is not the same in both instances. For example, the state-ment that the image of a magnum dominates the film Dirty Harry, by Don Segal, creates more than a simple equation between reference and the language of interpretation. The gun, its use, its context, the function which it has in the film, have all been raised and this rather complex discursive field exceeds, transforms, even re-names the object. It is this discursive field which makes the connections between object and image arbitrary. There is no pure moment of the gun as image which escapes its placement and the use to which it has been put http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/ReadingRoom/6.2/Burnett.html For definitions of key terms used in semiotics: http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/semiotics_and_ads/terminology.html For a chart illustrating the different concepts of semiotic analysis: http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/crit.97/note/Semiotics/semiotics_illustrated.htm For an introduction to semiotics: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/ For introductions to semiotics as applied to media studies: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/semiotics.html http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/french/as-sa/EngSem1.html http://www.indiana.edu/~educp550/shtcrs.html Semiotic theorists: Pierce, Eco, Barthes, Lacan, Sebeok http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/semiotics.html A semiotic analysis of magazine ads for mens fragrances, Alexander Clare http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/awc9401.html In his book, Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Out

Lives, Todd Gitlin (2001) posits that the media provides a constant torrent of images that wash over audiences at a high speed pace: On MSNBC an interview is in progress. An expert is discoursing on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. At the lower right is the network logo, to its left, the current Dow Jones industrial average, next to the current temperature and a cloud graphic. Later three bongs will sound, signaling NBC, and the interview image will shrink, while headlines burst out below.. Bu to two thirty-second commercials as images flicker by at the average of more than one edit per second (pp. 71-72). And, audiences themselves are moving from channel to channelbetween 36 to 107 per hour (p. 72). While all of these images purport to portray reality, ironically, audiences experiences these images as not real, but only virtual: Imagesdepict or re-present realities but are not themselves realities. We usually know the difference. If an image depicts a place we have visited or reminds us of something that once happened to us, or something we could imagine happening, we call it realistic. But that is still not real (p. 22). Despite the fact that audiences know these images are almost real, they: Expect them to heighten life, to intensify and focus it by being better than the real, more vivid, more stark, more something. We want a burst of feeling, a frisson or commisertation, a flash of delight, a moment of recognition. (p. 23) To study the meaning of signs or media images, you can download some images from the following image data banks: http://www.mediabuilder.com/ http://www.altavista.com/sites/search/simage http://www.free-clip-images.com/ http://www.pdimages.com/web6.htm http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=

As you look at some of these images, describe your reactions to these images and the

meanings you attribute to these images. Then, consider some of the different ways you could examine two or more of these images employing different inquiry strategies suggested by Alan Gartenhaus (2001) in Questioning Art, An Inquiry Approach to Teaching Art Appreciation: - Comparing: In what ways are image A and image B alike; in what ways are they different? - Observing: What words would you use to describe image A? What is going on in this event, text, picture? - Classifying: What is a theme or group heading that A, B, and C would all fall under? Divide your data into two groups, sorting them based on what they share in common. What two categories did you create? - Summarizing: What title would you give to A; why did you choose this title? How would you summarize what you learned about A? - Interpreting: What do you believe is happening in A; what specific things in A suggest this? What is the larger meaning or idea of A? - Hypothesizing: Why did certain things happen in A? What are some possible reasons for what happened in A? Codes. Codes define the conventions that define meaning of signs. A sign can have multiple meanings depending upon the different codes used to interpret the sign. In responding to images, audiences apply their knowledge of cultural codes that define the meaning of images. The meaning of images of beauty as portrayed in romance novels, soap operas, romantic comedies, or song lyrics are constituted by what Linda Christian-Smith (1990) describes as "codes of beautification"that a womans physical attractiveness contributes to building relationships. In the novel, The Outsiders, the word Cool, the cars that the Socs drive, the imagery of sunsets, and the way that Ponyboy Curtis slouches, his body language, are signs with which these two gangs socially construct themselves (Moore, 1998, p. 212) Social codes serve to define the meaning of signs and various social practices operating in a specific context. Audiences draw on their knowledge of these codes to interpret the meaning of signs and practices. http://www.manateemiddle.org/semiotics/newpage1.htm

Dan Chandler: semiotic codes http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem08.html Dan Chandler: essay assignment on codes and viewing: Illustrate and discuss the contention that we learn to 'read' television and film, including the associated notion that televisual and filmic codes constitute a kind of 'language'. Guidance for this assignment. You might consider a 'for and against' structure for this title, outlining and evaluating the arguments and evidence both for and against the idea that film and television are like a language which we read. You are expected to demonstrate your understanding of any relevant semiotic concepts. To what extent is it useful to discuss the codes of the medium as a 'language'? It's useful to be aware of Christian Metz's reflections on the extent to which it is and is not useful to think of cinema as a language. Some semioticians compare film to verbal language, often in response to the claim that verbal language is inherently more powerful than any other medium. Verbal language is based on 'double articulation' - it builds on basic nonmeaningful units (phonemes) which can be combined in multiple ways to create a higher level of meaningful units (morphemes or words). Most semioticians argue that film and photography lack a lower structural level. Is the idea of film (and television) as a language just a metaphor (it's common to talk about editing in terms of punctuation) or is a strictly linguistic model applicable to film? The linguistic model often leads semioticians to a search for units of analysis in audio-visual media which are analogous to those used in linguistics. In the semiotics of film, rough equivalents with written language are sometimes postulated: such as the frame as morpheme (or word), the shot as sentence, the scene as paragraph, and the sequence as chapter (suggested equivalences vary amongst commentators). For members of the Glasgow University Media Group the basic unit of analysis was the shot, delimited by cuts and with allowance made for camera movement within the shot and for the accompanying soundtrack. Shots can be broken into smaller meaningful units (above the level of the frame), but theorists disagree about what these might be. Above the level of the sequence, other narrative units can also be posited. Sample student essays written in response to this assignment. Rikke Bjerg Jensen, Do we learn to 'read' television and film and do televisual and filmic codes constitute a 'language'? http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/rbj0001.html Stefan Herrmann, Do we learn to read television like a kind of language?

http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/sfh9901.html Charles Slaney, Do we learn to read television and film and do televisual and filmic codes constitute a kind of language? http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/ecs0001.html There are a number of different types of codes constituting the meaning of signs (Rayner, Wlla, & Kruger, 2001) dress codes: serve to define meanings related to status, class, age, gender, rank, role, glamour, sophistication, style, sex appeal, etc. color codes: In many cultures, red means glamour/excitement or danger; black means death or destruction; blue means openness; pink means femininity non-verbal codes defining meaning of gestures or body language: the meaning of handshakes, kisses, winks, staring, proximity, signals, etc. class codes: define the meaning of language, behavior, dress, demeanor, etc., related to class markers, for example, blue blazers for upper-middle class racial codes: define the meaning of language, behavior, dress, demeanor, etc., related to race or ethnicity, for example, markers associated with white privilege. cultural codes: define the meaning of social practices in certain places, events, sites, institutions related to formality/informality, significance, appropriateness, etc. cinematic/technical codes: define the meaning of uses of close-up, long, medium shots, angles (high/low), framing, cropping, etc. As we will study in Module 6 (genres), these codes are often associated with a specific television or film genre or type. The codes of the traditional western genre constituted the meaning of good (heroes dressed in white) vs. evil (the bad man dress in black) or the open vistas as defining the West as reflecting the American dream of an open, endless development. Students most readily understand this sign/code relationship by constructing collages of images from magazine ads and then inferring the code system constituting the meaning of the images. For examples, the image of the Subaru L. L. Bean Outback placed in remote, open spaces are based on a code system of nature linked with freedom from constraints associated with Outback sign. In his analysis of television news, John Harley (1993) described the various codes that constituted the typical news broadcast newsreader/anchor person who dominate the screen, frames topic, and define links between different parts of the program, as well as the usine of correspondents/reports who frame and report on specific topic; the use of video to portray events, the use of graphics to display bullet points, captions, or further information; and the use of voice-overs and shots of interviewees. These codes include (Genova, 2001, p. 64):

- visual codes of composition (framing pictures), movement (pan shots, zooms, close-ups), and sequence (editing/juxtaposing of images) - verbal codes defining uses of speech and stories - absent codes defining uses of music, debate, and reconstruction of events Narrative/structuralist theory: How signs/images mean in stories. One set of codes constituting the meaning of signs and images are narratives or story structures. Structuralist theorists focus on the grammar or structure of different units in a typical storylines of the mystery/detective, comedy, quest/journey, or action/adventure. These different units function in relationship to each other. For example, narratives often revolve around binary oppositions between good versus evil, in which evil seems to be triumphing over good, only to have good win out in the end. The specific events or episodes in stories are defined in terms of how they function to develop the story structure. Understanding these oppositions helps audiences define the meaning of signs and images in texts. For example, the meaning of the road imagery in Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring reflects the code of the open-ended journey in which the hero(es) confront multiple challenges within what archetypal critics define as the Romance quest narrative. Narrative theory defines how certain kinds of stories reflect certain kinds of cultural meanings related to oppositions or conflicts between characters, or the sequential relationships between different events. For example, in the typical, traditional romance novel, Janice Radway (1984) noted that typically the cold, impersonal male hero initially rejects or is rejected by the female protagonist. However, over time, the female protagonist brings out the more subjective, nurturing, romantic side of the male, transforming him by the end of the story into a more caring partner, resulting in a love relationship often leading to marriage (feminists ask why it is that the female is responsible for doing all of the work to change the male). One of the most important formalist theorists is David Bordwell, whose book, Narration in the Fiction Film (1985), focused on not only narrative structures, but also how audiences apply cognitive schema for interpreting films. (The film textbook Film Art: An Introduction (McGraw Hill, 7th ed., 2004), by Bordwell and Kristin Thompson (author of Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis (Princeton University Press, 1988), is one of the most widely used introductory college film textbooks; see also his 1991 book, Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema, Harvard University Press and his coedited book. Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. Bordwell argues that learning to interpret film involves audiences application of learned prototypical schema that organize actions and situations around certain narrative patterns. He

traces the historical development of certain genres such as the Hollywood Film Noir to particular ways in which the narrative structures invited audiences to apply certain schema to engage in gap-filling in the narratives. Bordwell explains his approach on his website: http://www.davidbordwell.net/studying.htm Analysis is a matter of breaking up whole phenomena into relevant parts and showing how they work together. Thus a film historian interested in how a particular studio worked in 1930 will distinguish among the studio's operations (studio departments, say, or phases of the moviemaking process). An academic film critic will divide a film into parts (scenes, sequences, "acts") to see how the overall architecture works. Explaining something also involves describing it. A film historian trying to explain how a studio functioned in 1930 will describe the work routines; that's a necessary part of the explanation. An academic film critic will describe a scene in detail, for that's necessary to understanding why it carries a particular meaning or achieves a particular effect. Analysis and description are rare in ordinary conversation and in film reviewing because of limits of time and space, but also because the film scholar is interested in something that isn't so pressing for other parties: explanations. There are different types of explanation. Historians often look for causal explanations, the way that events or circumstances x and y shaped event z over time. Film analysts and theorists often seek functional explanations-how x and y work together, at any given moment, to create the whole z. Again, these are concerns that typically don't arise in ordinary conversation or film reviewing. For a summary of Chapter 2 on film form in Film Art: An Introduction http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072484551/student_view0/chapter2/ For a summary of Bordwells cognitive theories by Kevin Sweeney, Constructivism in Cognitive Film Theory http://www.hanover.edu/philos/film/vol_02/sweeney.htm For the application of Bordwell in a film course taught by Henry Jenkins http://www.screensite.org/teach/syl/filman.htm

Sarah Kozloff gives the example of the typical narratie structure of a James Bond movie

in her site on application of narrative theory to media: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/narrative.html * * * * * * * * * M moves and gives a task to Bond. The villain moves and appears to Bond. Bond moves and gives a first check to the villain or the villain gives first check to Bond. Woman moves and shows herself to Bond. Bond consumes woman: possesses her or begins her seduction. The villain captures Bond. The villain tortures Bond. Bond conquers the villain. Bond convalescing enjoys woman, whom he then loses.

For each section of a James Bond movie, audiences note how the signs and images serve to predict and reaffirm their knowledge of Bonds triumph over evil and the winning and losing of women. Narrative theorists also focus on the discourse structures of news or documentary. For example, Allan Bell (1998) identifies the basic structure of the news event coverage as consisting of Attribution (the source, place, and time), Abstract (the headline and lead), and Story (with episodes containing events). Each event includes descriptions of attribution (sources), actors, action, setting, follow-up (consequences and reactions), commentary (context, evaluation, and expectation), and background (previous episodes and history) (p. 68). News stories consistently follow this structure, although TV news often deletes aspects of follow-up, commentary, and background. Archetypal theory. Another set of codes has to do with mythic, cultural, or psychological meanings for signs and images. Archetypal theorists such as Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell note how certain images of water, color, the seasons, or the heros journey are related to themes of birth/death, male/female, or separation/attachment. For example, one of the first phases of the heros journey is the initiation of the hero in preparation for a long, perilous journey. That initiationassociated with initiation rites for adolescents in different cultures, is often associated with baptism or water, which, in turn, may be associated with sexuality. The archetypal hero in film http://mentalsoup.net/jelkins/hero.shtml Archetypal analysis of Enchanted April http://www.mythopoetry.com/mp_cinema/Archetypes%20in%20Cinema.htm

Northrop Fryes narrative patterns applied to film =en&ie=UTF-8 For further reading on archetypal criticism of film/media: Hirschman, E. (2000). Heroes, monsters, and messiahs. New York: McMeel Publishing. Liebes, T., Curran, J., & Katz, E. (Eds.). (2002). Media, ritual and identity. New York: Routledge. Rasmussen, R. (1998). Children of the night: The six archetypal characters of classic horror films. New York: MacFarland. For further applications of semiotics to media texts: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/discipline/fine-art/theory/analysis/semiotic.htm http://www.alexa.com/browse/general?catid=216044&mode=general http://www.film.queensu.ca/Critical/Bai.html http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Sections/textan07.html For further reading on semiotic/formalist theory: Bell, A. (1998). The discourse structure of news stories. In A. Bell and P. Garrett (Eds.), Approaches to media discourse(pp. 64-104). Malden, MA: Blackwell. Chandler, D. (2001). Semiotics: The basics. New York: Routledge. Cobley, P. (1999). Introducing semiotics. London: Icon Books. Danesi, M. (2002). Understanding media semiotics. London: Arnold. Hodge, R. & Kress, G. Social semiotics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Kauffmann, S. (2001). Regarding film: Criticism and comment. Performing Arts Journal Books. Kress, G., & Van Leenwen, T. (2001). Barthes and the empire of signs. New York: Routledge. Radway, J. (1984). Reading the romance: Women, patriarchy, and popular literature. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Sturken, M., & Cartwright, L. (2001). Practices of looking. New York: Oxford University Press. Thwaites, T., Davis, L., & Mules, W. (2002). Introducing cultural and media studies: A semiotic approach. New York: Palgrave.

Trifonas, P. (1996). Reading images. London: Icon Books. Weber, S., & Mitchell, C. (1995). Thats funny, you dont look like a teacher: Interrogating images and identity in popular culture. London: Falmer Press. Application: Go back to the meanings you attributed to the signs and images in the Secret ad and reflect on what codes you employed to infer these meanings. How did you apply these particular codes?

Poststructuralist/Deconstructivist Theory: Interrogating Language Codes/Categories Poststructuralism challenges the structuralist/formalist notions of language as a prisonhouse to argue that the meaning of language is a social construction by participants who are using language to mean often conflicting different things. One important code system is that of language. Language codes or categories mediate our perceptions and constructions of experience. For example, peoples notion of what is means to be male or female or masculine and feminine is mediated by the cultural meanings they assign to these categories. For example, a poststructuralist approach focuses on how language categories or concepts shape or mediate our perceptions of media texts. (The National Council of Teachers of English Chalkface high school literature textbook series draws heavily on a poststructuralist approach (Martino & Mellor, 2000; Mellor, ONeill, & Patterson, 2000; Mellor & Patterson, 2001; Mellor, Patterson, & ONeill, 1999; Moon, 2000, 2001)). Michael Peters: Postructuralism and Education http://www.vusst.hr/ENCYCLOPAEDIA/poststructuralism.htm Viewers may apply essentialist gender categories to a text, assuming, that males typically are strong, assertive, physically active, domineering, and females are weak, passive, not physically active, and reticent, categories that would be challenged in this approach. What language categories are shaping my response? How do these language categories reflect my beliefs and attitudes? In reflecting on their responses, students may note how those responses are shaped by various categories: good/evil, right/wrong, male/female, black/white, high/low, real/artificial, love/hate, etc. As poststructuralist critics point out, these categories themselves are suspect in that, as binary, either/or constructions, for example, male/female, or white/black, that limit or essentialize an understanding of the complexity of experience. In responding to images associated with portrayals of masculinity or femininity, audiences apply their knowledge of these categories, often in highly stereotypical ways. Theorists such as Derrida argue that language categories therefore need to be contested and challenged as slippery, unstable, and continually changing. They also challenge the category distinctions between black and white or male and female as categories that serve to create the false dualities inherent in either/or categories. They argue that once you begin to

examine carefully these categories or oppositions, they no longer work effectively. They are also highly skeptical about humanist beliefs or truthsthat humans are basically good, as fictions/myths. They perceive these beliefs or truths as central to much of English instruction that attempts to use texts to imply or promote these beliefs or truths. They are also critical of notions of the self as a coherent, unified identity, positing the alternative notion of self as conflicted and often incoherent. Consistent with critical discourses analysis, they perceive different, competing aspects of the self as constituted by different, competing discourses. Extreme versions of poststructuralism or deconstruction as positing a completely indeterminate nature of meaning have been challenged as failing to recognize the fact that meaning is not totally illusionary or relative. How is all of this related to media studies? Poststructualists propose close analysis of language use in media texts of the categories used in order to demonstrate how categories that seem to be in opposition to each other actually have a lot of overlapping meaning. For example, an ad showing bad breath as adversely affecting ones popularity when others shun a person and the use of a mouth spray leading to a positive sense of popularity is based on the opposition between being shunned versus popularity. By examining or deconstructing these underlying distinctions, students may note that being shunned isnt necessarily always negative, while being popular, isnt necessarily always positive (although adolescents may have difficulty believing that.) In a study of adolescents after-school book-club discussions, Alvermann, Young, and Green (1997) found that participants frequently challenged essentialist gender categories. Because these adolescents selected their own texts and topics for discussion, they were willing to openly grapple with issues and values. In some cases, however, they were reticent to do so fearing social repercussions. For example, females in one group were reluctant to talk about magazines geared for females because they were concerned with the fact that the males in the group would not be interested in discussing these magazines. These females were importing an essential frame regarding male behavior to construct their group stance. In other cases, group members did openly challenge essentialist categorization. In one group, some female members challenged the notion that only males were interested in talking about sports, making references to their frequent discussion of sports in other contexts. In another group, members discussed the ways in which women were excluded from history texts. In some cases, members employed double-voiced language or playful use of gossip to challenge exclusionary stances. By surfacing the tensions between competing stances towards gender and class, the students in this study

began to interrogate value assumptions associated with perceived gender and class categories. The NCTE Chalkface Series One useful application of postsructuralism to English instruction is the NCTE Chalkface Series: Mellor & Patterson, Investigating Texts Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction in High School; Mellor, Patterson, & ONeil, Reading Fictions Applying Literary Theory to Short Stories; Moon, Studying Literature; Mellor, ONeil, & Patterson, Reading Stories Activities and Texts for Critical Readings; Martino & Mellor, Gendered Fictions. these books for high school students are based largely on a post-structuralist approachstudents self-interrogating the categories of gender, class, race that shape their perceptions of life and texts. For more information on poststructualism: http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/1derrida.html For further reading on poststructuralist theory: Belsey, B. (2002). Poststructuralism: A very short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Bannet, E. T. 1989. Structuralism and the logic of dissent: Barthes, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Palmer, D. (1997). Structuralism and poststructuralism for beginners. New York: Writers and Readers, For application of poststructuralist theory to film Stam, R. (1992). New vocabularies in film semiotics: Structuralism, poststructuralism and beyond. New York: Routledge.

Critical Discourse Analysis Another approach for analyzing media texts is known as critical discourse analysis. The meaning of signs/codes are also shaped by discoursesbasic ways of knowing and thinking constituting the meaning of social practices in specific contexts or social worlds (Gee, 1996). These discourses are more than just language uses. They have to do with larger ideological perspectives that shape how people perceive the world and their own identities. The discourses of law, medicine, religion, business, or education define the social and power relationships within a certain culture or community. People adopting a legal discourse think about the world in a different manner than those adopting a religious discourse. These discourses serve to define how both language and images have meanings in terms of how they are used in specific contexts, contexts constructed through discourses. James Gee (1996; 1999) argues that understanding how language is being used for social purposes requires an understanding the speakers/writers social identity and the activity involved. The utterance, Theres a good movie coming to town this Friday, can be perceived as simply a description of a fact, a positive appraisal of a movie, or an invitation to join the person to go to the movie. Understanding these meanings requires an understanding of how language is being used and who is using that language in a specific context or social worlds. These social worlds are often constituted by certain discourses. For example, a religious discourse constitutes the world of a religious ceremony while a business discourse constitutes the world of economic transactions. In some cases, a discourse from one world is imposed on another world, as when a business discourse of accountability and bottom-line results is imposed onto education. This discourse of business or marketing reflects an ideological orientation towards a world that values profit, the bottom line, marketing, etc. In the Wall Street world of Michael Douglas in the film, Wall Street, practices associated with achieving wealth are more important than practices associated with friendships or community contributions. Images of limos, plush corporate offices, tailored suits, etc., serve as status markers of wealth and prestige valued in this world. Critical discourse analysis is useful for analyzing the social and ideological influence of these worlds on peoples practices in these worlds, as well as the roles and stances they assume. In a world of the romance novel or film, the characters and their practices are constituted by a discourse of romance. Gee (1996; 1999) Children learn certain basic primary discourses at an early age within their family context. As adolescents, they later acquire various secondary discourses as they

move into institutions employing these discourses. For example, in school, they are exposed to discourses of science, social studies, literary criticism, cultural analysis, math, sports, etc., as different ways of knowing and thinking about the world. Each of these discourses represents a different way of thinking about the world. Gee argues that these discourses also serves as identity tool-kits to define ones identities, for example, the discourse of the law serves to define ones identity as a lawyer. A biker discourse serves to define the meaning of images of a biker. A student may become a science whiz who can think in terms of scientific analysis of phenomena in ways that defines their identity. Or, they may become a sports nut who constantly thinks in terms of sports statistics. Gee notes that a discourse of the elementary school defines the identities of elementary school teachers talk and act. In literature, characters adopt voices or social languages that reflect tensions between certain discourses associated with their membership in different worlds. Bakhtin (1981) gives the example of the narrator of Dickens Little Dorrit who employs two different languages to describe a characters actions: The conference was held at four or five oclock in the afternoon, when all the region of Harley Street, Cavendish Square, was resonant of carriage-wheels and double-knocks. It had reached this point when Mr. Merle came home from his daily occupation of causing the British name to be more and more respected in all parts of the civilized globe capable of appreciation of world-wide commercial enterprise and gigantic combinations of skill and capital. (p. 94). The language in italics mimics the language of political rhetoric that is set against the language of narrative description of the setting, which evokes a world of busy, domestic upperclass life. This creates tensions between different evoked discourse worlds--the world of political power and the world of domestic life. In reflecting on their responses to tensions between these discourses, students may define connections to tensions between their own beliefs. Discourses also define what is considered to be normal in a social world. Media texts reflect what Antonio Gramsci (1971) described as hegemonydominant modes of thinking or believing that permeate a world or society that define the common sense status quo. Within a discourse context, readers are positioned as able and willing to apply common sense assumptions necessary for a coherent interpretation of texts, coherence that is ideologically defined. For Norman Fairclough (1995): what establishes the coherent link between the two sentences Shes giving up her job

next Wednesday. Shes pregnant is the assumption that women cease to work when they have children. In so far as interpreters take up these positions and automatically make these connections, they are being subjected by and to the text, and this is the important part of the ideological work of texts and discourse in interpolating subjects (84). As demonstrated in the analyses of institutions in history by one of the most important discourse theorists, Michel Foucault, discourses served to create common sense perspectives associated with institutional power. For example, during the 19th century, notions of madness and hysteria were used by male doctors to construct a whole institutional structure for defining females in ways that represented them as deviant, the application of a medical or scientific discourse, fused with a discourse of masculinity (Hall, 1997). Discourses serve to define identities and allegiances to certain institutions. In a study of high school students who were active in the world of the Mormon Church, Oates (2000) found that these students employed discourses in ways that defined their identities within social relationships. One female participant consistently employed the discourses of intimacy and disclosure in her journal writing in which consistently described her feelings about everyday events and relationships. Her mother also contributed to this journal, expressing her own intimate relationship to her daughter. Oates notes that her "literacy practices functioned as intimate disclosures to construct and sustain relationships of loyalty and trust" (p, 228) associated with the construction of her identity. Oates identified the discourses of entitlement and authority in a male participant's writing. This male was highly active in the Mormon Church's youth organization and sought to be a member of a leadership training organization within the Church. When he was not selected as a member of this group, he used his journal entries to vent his frustrations, arguing that he was entitled to be selected. He also adopted a highly judgmental, authoritative stance towards peers who were selected. In his writing in his religion class in school, he drew on the discourses of the Mormon Church to posit authoritative stances against practices, such as reading offensive literature, that violated Church doctrine. Oates argues that adopting these discourses of entitlement and authority were related to establishing his identity within her peer group and church as a devout church member. Critical discourse analysis also focuses on power or sense of agency. In his analysis of a discourse of racism as evident in a parliamentary debate, Teun Van Dijk http://www.discourse-in-society.org/teun.html notes that it is important to examine how power relationships operate in institutions as constituted by discourses of race:

Unequal access to social resources is enacted, at a more local, interactional level, in terms of specific social practices of dominant group members and their organizations and institutions, that is, by various forms of discrimination, such as problematization, marginalization, limitation and exclusion in everyday social contexts. Thus, among many other forms of discrimination, 'foreigners' are unable or have more difficulty to get into the country, the city, the neighborhood, the club, or the family, or to get adequate residence, housing, jobs, information, attention, or coverage in the press and textbooks. Relevant for our discussion is that among these many social resources, also the symbolic resource of public discourse plays an important role: Politics, the media, education, scholarship, literature, the courts, the welfare system, and businesses and their multitudes of forms of text and talk are largely controlled by white elites. Minorities have only very limited access to, or control over such discourses. In other words, they have less power also because they literally have less to say -- that is, they are given less opportunities to speak, write and be heard or read publicly. This fundamentally also implies that they have less control over their representation in discourse, that is, over what is being said and written about them and how this is done. This finally means that they have less control over public opinion and other socially shared cognitive representations about them. These social representations may be acquired in many ways, but the most effective means is discourse : Most white people in European societies acquire and develop more beliefs about minorities through text and talk in politics, the media, literature, or textbooks, than through (usually limited) everyday observation and interaction with members of minority groups. This is especially the case for the more general, abstract beliefs of attitudes and ideologies, that is, for shared social representations, but hardly less true for information about specific events, that is, for so-called mental models . Critical Discourse Analysis of Media Texts and Audience Response Discourses also function to position or orient people to adopt certain practices valued in a certain social world. The concept of orienting discourses suggests the ways in which discourses of gender, class, and race position people to adopt certain practices valued in certain contexts. Louis Althusser (1971) argued that audiences are hailed or recruited by these value stances as potential authors who may adopt those value stances. A discourse of sexism often constitutes talk on certain talk-radio programs that serves to position male audiences to define their identities in terms of masculine or conservative political values.

People are hailed by certain discourses and construct their identities based on their subjective alignment with how they are positioned by these discourses. For example, students in a college-bound, AP English class may be positioned to adopt certain discourses associated with a set of class dispositions and academic status in the school. Discourses position audiences by assuming that those audiences accept or buy into dominant or hegemonic ideological perspectives sponsored by those in power. For example, a news broadcast that presupposes a certain unstated ideological perspective may position audiences to accept that perspective as common sense. For example, a news story about testing in schools may presuppose the prevailing ideological assumption for many in power that testing and accountability are positive means for improving education. For a discussion by John Fiske on how discourses hail or position audiences, see: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/british.html#Anchor-Discourse-35326 Discourses of Gender, Class, and Race Audiences draw on discourses of gender, class, and race differences to construct discourse contexts and their social identities within those contexts. The largely male sports talkshow is constituted by a discourse of masculine gender identity that values the sharing of technical expertise about players, rules, and stats. Participants also celebrate the value of competitiveness and hard work, and generally avoid topics related to emotional, interpersonal matters associated with the "feminine" television talk shows. Adopting these practices serves to define program participants and their audiences as allied to a discourse of masculinity. One gender discourses is the discourses of romance. From their experiences with romance novels, soap operas, song lyrics, and personal relationships, readers acquire a discourse of romance or what Linda Christian-Smith describes as a "discourse of desire." The language of this discourse is typically that of an idealized, often hyperbolic description of the desired partner or lover. For example, song lyrics often contain males' use of a "sweet-talk" language of flirtation that plays on the idea of females desirability. An underlying ideological assumption behind this discourse is that "love triumphs over all"--that the emotional feeling or pleasure of love is a transcendent experience. In some forms, discourses of romance celebrate "codes of beautification"--that being physically attractive contributes to building a love relationship (Christian-Smith). These codes specify norms as to what constitutes "being beautiful" as defined by the cosmetics, fashion, and hair-product "beauty industry." In responding to romance novels, early adolescent readers were more likely than adult readers to value hero or heroine's physical appearance as opposed to their

personality attributes or intelligence (Willinsky & Hunniford). More erotic forms of this discourse downplay physical portrayal of sex in favor of emotional descriptions of passionate romance occurring in exotic settings. However, the discourses constituting these descriptions still represent a patriarchal perspective. Analysis of the metaphors employed in sixteen recently-published romance novels found a high frequency of references to war and violence in descriptions of male conquest of females as in, He was a war-horse straining at the reins, all leashed power and trembling readiness (Patthey-Chavez, Clare, and Youmans, 91). Brett Dellinger, Critical Discourse Analysis http://users.utu.fi/bredelli/cda.html Sue McGregor: Critical Discourse Analysis: A Primer http://www.kon.org/archives/forum/15-1/mcgregorcda.html Teun Van Dijk, Racist Discourses http://www.discourse-in-society.org/Racist%20Discourse.htm Norman Fairclough: critical discourse analysis papers, particularly on the application of business discourses to education http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/staff/norman/download.htm Foucault: theory.org site http://www.theory.org.uk/ctr-fouc.htm Allen Luke: discussion of critical discourse analysis http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/ed270/Luke/SAHA6.html For further discussion of media and gender discourses: http://www.theoryhead.com/gender/ Tracy Weeks, North Carolina State University, a critical discourse analysis of social studies webquests http://convention.allacademic.com/aera2004/view_paper_info.html? pub_id=1316&part_id1=900324

For further reading on discourses of gender (see also Feminist Criticism below):

Currie, D. (1999). Girl talk: Adolescent magazines and their readers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Enciso, P. (1998). Good/bad girls read together: Pre-adolescent girls co-authorship of feminine subject positions during a shared reading event. English Education, 30, 44-62. Finders, M. (1997). Just girls. New York: Teachers College Press. McRobbie, A. (2000). Feminism and youth culture. New York: Routledge. Newkirk, T. (2002). Misreading masculinity: Boys, literacy, and popular culture. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Nixon, S. (1996). Hard looks: Masculinities, spectatorship and contemporary consumption. London, UCL Press. Discourses of class. Discourses of class are most evident in peoples perceptions and judgments of members of different classes. Discourses of class serve to define the meaning of social practices or artifacts as class markers. Neo-Marxist criticism is interested the ways in which storylines and themes reflect certain economic, social, and political forces. It examines how discourses or ideologies of class serve to maintain or challenge power structures. For example, a film may portray workers as industrious and loyal to their company despite their poor working conditions and low pay, a portrayal that serves to define the role of the worker in society as needing to sacrifice without challenging the system that fosters poor working conditions and low wages in the power structure. Neo-Marxist criticism is also interested in how audiences are socialized or indoctrinated into becoming consumers. It perceives advertising as a form of propaganda designed to perpetuate the value of consumption as a means of defining ones identity in society through the uses and display of consumer products. Neo-Marxist analysis is also interested in how people acquire what is defined as cultural capitaldefined as social practices or styles or ways of expressing oneself through language, dress, gestures, or social practices associated with class or social status in society (Bourdieu, 1977). For example, certain marked ways of speaking based on cultural assumptions about dialects, register, pitch, topic elaboration, intonation, hedging, etc., serve to define one as having or not having cultural capital, a theme of the film, Educating Rita. Cultural capital is associated with knowledge of certain texts--literature, art, film, etc., or with academic credentials deemed to be markers of high social status. Notions of what constitute class differences themselves reflect discourses of class. Different people have different notions as to what it means to be middle class or working class. In the

PBS documentary program, People Like Us, http://www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus/ different theorists propose different models for class differences. Adolescents from different classes may judge others according to very different criteria derived from their class background. In research conducted by James Gee, he found that upper middle class adolescent females were highly judgmental of their peers in terms of behaving in an appropriate manner consistent with social norms: wearing the right clothes, using the right language, or displaying appropriate social practices. In contrast, working class adolescent females focused more on concern about immediate interpersonal relationships and issues of fairness in those relationships. The teachers resource guide for People Like Us contains a lot of activities related to defining the meaning of class: http://www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus/resources/index.html For further information on class and income see: http://www.abacon.com/sociology/soclinks/sclass.html Students could also example how certain artifactsclothes, possessions (cars, houses, etc.,), viewing/reading habits, food, etc., serve as class markers, as discuss in the article on uniforms as class markers: "Pride, prejudice and the not-so-subtle politics of the working class" by Katherine Boo, published in The Washington Post: http://www.pbs.org/peoplelikeus/resources/index.html One useful set of objects for analysis are print or on-line catalogues for stores that market to different types of social class groups, groups that they attempt to construct through their semiotic uses of images and audience appeals. For example, the Neiman Marcus catalogue markets to an up-scale, upper-middle class market: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/ In contrast, the Walter Drake catalogue markets to more of a middle-class audience. http://www.catalogcity.com/cc.class/cc? main=catalog&vid=193378&ccsyn=1&ccsid=101627773-3677 In his study of the WWF wrestling programs, Henry Jenkins (1997) argues that wrestling represents working-class melodrama in that it portrays the revenge of good against evil the bad wrestler who employs devious means is overcome at the end by the good wrestler. Audiences who resent the power and wealth of the elite identify with the good wrestler, who represents the little guy asserting themselves against the unfair power structure.

For an introduction to the application of discourses of class to media, go to: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/ideological.html Discourses of media production. Discourses also shape the nature of media production ideological orientations as to how television or film should be produced. For example, Brett Dellinger analyzed the ways in which American commercial television talk shows apply a discourse of concisionthe idea that talk and ideas need to be produced in a relatively fastpaced mode, or audiences will be bored. Producers and hosts attempt to keep things moving, so that thoughtful, complex analysis is often minimized given the need to maintain a fast-paced production: http://users.utu.fi/bredelli/C8.htm Neo-Marxist critics have also examined the ways in which media production is controlled by large media conglomerates who attempt to impose their own ideological control over the media texts they produce. Werner Meier, Media Ownership Does It Matter? q=cache:1ZCr5d3oqxEJ:www.lirne.net/resources/netknowledge/meier.pdf+Marxist+criticism+m edia+conglomeration&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 For example, analysis of Disney films and theme parks indicates a consistent pattern of sanitizing traditional fairy tale stories and characters based on a discourse of Western, White, middle-class values. For interviews with Henry Giroux and others on the Disney monopoly of childrens cultural perceptions, see: http://www.mediaed.org/videos/CommercialismPoliticsAndMedia/MickeyMouseMonopoly For an introduction to Marxism by Dino Felluga http://www.sla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/marxism/index.html Greig Henderson and Christopher Brown: Glossary of Marxist criticism http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/glossary/Marxist_criticism.html For extensive material on Marx: http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/marx.html John Harms and Douglas Kellner, Toward A Critical Theory of Advertising http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell6.htm

Webquest: Effects of the Industrial Revolution http://www.spjusd.org/demostan/History_Social_Science/History_SocialScience_10/h356.htm

For further reading on discourses of class: Christopher, R. (1999). Teaching working-class literature to mixed audiences. In S. L. Linkon (Ed.), Teaching working class (pp. 203-222). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Easton, T., & Lutzenberger, J. (1999). Difficult dialogues: Working-class studies in a multicultural literature classroom. In S. L. Linkon (Ed.), Teaching working class (pp. 267-285). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. Gee, J. P., Allen, A., & Clinton, K. (2001). Language, class, and identity: Teenagers fashioning themselves through language Linguistics and Education 12 (2,) 175-194 Gibson-Graham, J., Resnick, S., & Wolff, R., (Eds). (2000). Introduction. Class and its others. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Hemphill, L. (1999). Narrative style, social class, and response to poetry. Research in the Teaching of English, 33(3), 275-302. Hull, G. & Rose, M. (1990). This wooden shack place: The logic of an unconventional reading. College Composition and Communication, 41, 287-298. Discourses of race. In a move that is consistent with critical literacy theories, Bonilla-Silva (2001) proposes an alternative conception of racism as racialized social systems that function to place people in hierarchical social categories and then assign meanings to groups based on economic or political power in ways that serve to maintain and justify these hierarchies, particularly in terms of discourses of whiteness (Cuomo & Hall, 1999; Delgado & Stefanic, 1997; Roediger, 2002; Fine, Weis, Powell, & Wong, 1997). For example, psychological discourses of race that focus on individuals only as racist/prejudiced presupposes that racism is an individual problem. Contemporary race-talk discourses are often disassociated from racism as a past, historical phenomenon. For example, White students may adopt a discourse of color-blind racism to avoid being labeled as racist, as evident in statements such as Everyone is equal, but. or I am not prejudice, but, in arguments such as I didnt own slaves, so Im not a racist, or in denials of structural nature of discrimination as reflected in critiques of affirmative action programs (Blum, 2002; Wiegman, 1999), a discourse fails to examine the forces of institutional racism (Reisigl & Wodak, 2001). The power of prevailing discourses of Whiteness is reflected in an ethnographic study by Pamela Perry (2001) of white students perceptions of their own identities and white culture

from two different California high school schools: Valley Groves High School (VG), a largely white, suburban school, and Clavey High School (C), a highly diverse school with AfricanAmericans as the majority group. In these two schools, White students had totally different perceptions of their own cultural identities. VG students, who had little exposure to racial differences, adopted a race-neutral perspective, constructing White, Euro-American culture as the norm. Students of color at VG rarely acted culturally different from the white students (p. 122). Nor did they challenge the White students, so any potential challenge was neutralized. The White students imposed their identities onto the students of color, so that their own sense of Whiteness was therefore an empty cultural category that only served to define an us/them or White/majority vs. ethic/minority distinction. In contrast, at C, race was the principle of social organization. White students at C had a clear sense of their White identity as White. At C, racism was defined in terms of history and consequences of white racial oppressions and inequality that white students well understood (p. 65). Another school ethnography of a diverse Toronto high school (Yon, 2000) finds that Whiteness was also an unacknowledged norm, resulting in the fact that students believed that they are now disadvantaged and excluded because other racial groups receive special attention. As a result, they simultaneously resist, accommodate, and become ambivalent toward the discourses of multiculturalism, antiracism, and inclusivity all at the same time (p. 30). White students may adopt a value stance of White privilege operating in the school or community, particularly when challenged by alternative discourses of race (Blake, 1998; Fecho, 1998; Kumashiro, 2002; Smith & Strickland, 2001). Some of this backlash stems from White students assumption that their perspective is the presumed community norm (Keating, 1995; Trainor, 2002), an assumption which can be unwittingly fostered by White teachers (Chapman, 2003; Lewis, Ketter & Fabos, 2001; Ketter & Lewis, 2001)). White students may assume that the norm of Whiteness operates through a discourse of ordered academic analysis set against what may be perceived of as unwarranted expressions of subjective perceptions that do not belong in the classroom. As Barnett (2000) notes, discourses of whiteness establish themselves as the norm through their reliance on particularly forms of rationality...a term that highlights another attribute often credited to whiteness, its dependency on rules, order, and formal institutional structures (p. 16), structures that may parallel discourses of order and control operating in the school. For further reading on discourses of race: Barnett, T. (2000). Reading whiteness in English studies. College English, 63 (1), 9-37. Beach, R. (1997). Students resistance to engagement with multicultural literature. In T. Rogers & A. O. Soter (Eds.), Reading across cultures: Teaching literature in a diverse society(pp. 69-94). New York: Teachers College Press. Blake, B. E. (1998). Critical reader response in an urban classroom: Creating cultural texts to

engage diverse readers. Theory Into Practice, 37(3), 238-243. Blum, L. (2002). Im not a racist, but: The moral quandary of race. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Cuomo, C., & Hall, K. (Eds.). (1999). Whiteness: Critical philosophical reflections. Latham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (Eds.). (1997). Critical white studies: Looking beyond the mirror. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press. Fecho, B. (1998). Crossing boundaries of race in a critical literacy classroom. In D. Alvermann, K. Hinchman, D. Moore, S. Phelps, & D. Waff (Eds.), Reconceptualizing the literacies in adolescents lives (pp.75-101). Mahwah. NJ: Erlbaum. Fine, M., Weis, L, Powell, L., & Wong, L. (Eds.). 1997. Off white: Readings in race, power, and society. New York: Routledge. Lewis, C. (2000). Limits of identification: The personal, pleasurable, and the critical in reader response. Journal of Literacy Research, 32(2), 253-266. Roediger, D. R. (2002). Colored white: Transcending the racial past. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Rogers, T., & Soter, A. (1997). Reading across cultures: Teaching literature in a diverse society. New York: Teachers College Press. Trainor, J. (2002). Critical Pedagogys Other: Constructions of Whiteness in Education for Social Change. College Composition and Communication, 53(4), 631-650. Yon, D.A. (2000). Elusive Culture: Schooling, race, and identity in global times. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press For further reading on analysis of race in the media: Biagi, S., & Kern-Foxworth, M. (1997). Facing difference: Race, gender, and mass media. New York: Pine Forge Press. Boyd, T. (1996). Am I Black enough for you? Popular culture from the hood and beyond. Berkeley: University of California Press. Carson, D., & Friedman, L. (1995). Shared differences: Multicultural media and practical pedagogy. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Cottle, S. (2000). Ethnic minorities and the media: Changing cultural boundaries. London: Open University Press. Dine, G., & Humez, J. M. (Eds.). (1995). Gender, race and class in media: A text-reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Entman, R., & Rojecki, A. (2001). The Black image in the White mind: Media and race in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ferguson, R. (1998). Representing race: Ideology, identity and the media. London: Arnold. Fiske, J. (1996). Media matters: Race and gender in U.S. politics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Garcia Berumen, F. (1995). The Chicano/Hispanic image in American film. New York: Vantage. Giroux, H. (1998). Channel surfing: Race talk and the destruction of today's youth. New York: Griffin Trade. Gutierrez, F., & Wilson, C. (1995). Race, multiculturalism, and the media: From mass to class communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Holtzman, L. (2000). Media messages : What film, television, and popular music teach us about race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. New York: M.E. Sharpe. Kamalipour, Y, & Carilli, T. (1998). Cultural diversity and the U.S. media. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Kellstedt, P. (2003). The mass media and the dynamics of American racial attitudes. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lester, P. (1996). Images that injure. New York: Praeger. Negra, C. (2001). Off-White Hollywood American culture and ethnic female stardom. New York: Routledge. Critical discourse analysis applied to film/media: Cary, L. J. (2000). Redemption, desire and discourse: The unapparent teacher in education. Proceedings of the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies, Baton Rouge, LA. http://asterix.ednet.lsu.edu/~lsuctp/confpaprs/LisaCaryBR.html A study of the discourses associated with the valorization of films (often in terms of directors popularity): q=cache:Imfrkfx2gUYJ:www.wsu.edu/~allen/Film_Consecration.pdf+critical+discourse+analysi s+film&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 Yosso, T. (2002). Critical race media literacy: Challenging deficit discourse about Chicanas/os. Journal of Popular Film and Television, Spring. http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0412/1_30/84902438/p1/article.jhtml

For further reading on critical discourses analysis of the media: Bell, A., & Garrett, P., eds. (1998). Approaches to media discourse. London: Blackwell Publishers. Fairclough, N. (1995). Media Discourse. London: Arnold. Gee, J. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. Hall, S., ed. 1997). Representation: Cultural representation and signifying practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lemke, J. (1995). Textual politics: Discourse and social dynamics. Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. van Dijk T. A. (1993). Elite discourses and racism. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Psychoanalytic Theories: The Role of the Subjective Many of the approaches described in this module focus on the ways in which media texts position audiences to adopt certain ideological stances and how audiences ideologies shape their experiences with texts. However, the meaning of these texts is also shaped by psychological forces associated with subconscious experiences and subjectivity reflected in certain desires and needs evoked by the experience with media texts. Subjectivity is central to audiences experiences with media texts. Emotions function as ways of seeing (Solomon, 1976) and are constitutive of acts of perceptions(Vetlesen, 1994, p. 168) that actively orient participants attention in certain ways. As Vetlessen (1994) notes, emotions are active in disclosing a situation to us by illuminating others perceptions of a situation: Emotions make us attentive to the issue of how the other perceives the situation; emotions link our own perceptions of the situation to that of the other involved in itto see suffering as suffering is already to have established an emotional bond between myself and the person I see suffering. (p. 166). These emotions reflect a moral responsiveness to or the need to be concerned about situation or event. Emotions shape perceptions of a situation as laying a moral obligation on us, or as addressing us, and, second, how we are the addressee of such an obligation by virtue of the kind of being we arehuman subjects (Vetlessen, 1994, p. 169). During the 1970s and 1980s, film theorist were heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theories applied to understanding these subjective experiences with texts, work published in the journal Screen, founded in 1950. http://www.screen.arts.gla.ac.uk/ A central theorist for much of this work was Jacques Lacan (1977). Lacan shifted away from traditional Freudian psychoanalytic theory by focusing more on how identity development was shaped through experiences of loss, break-downs, and failure and how subconscious forces are shaped by language. For Lacan, the self is continually attempting to define their identity through three stages of developmentneed (the Real), demand (the Imaginary), and desire (the Symbolic). In the initial stage of the Real, an infant from birth to 6 months has their needs fulfilled from the mother; there is therefore no experience of loss. Then from 6 to 18th month, the infant experiences sense of demand as it recognizes itself in the mirror as having a sense of a whole body similar to other people, creating the illusion in the Imaginary phase of having a sense of self or ideal ego, even though that sense of self is an illusion in the mirror. The child

recognizes that there are others in the world and there is such a thing as a self. Once the child begins to perceive herself in terms of being the other self in the mirror, they project themselves onto the image in the mirror through language, the Symbolic phase. The child can then function as an I through their use of language. They then begin to experience a sense of loss or absence because they recognize that they are incomplete. They also define themselves in terms of gender differences. (This is a summary of a longer summary version of Lacans theory of development by Mary Klages, University of Colorado http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/lacan.html For Lacan, language assumes an important role in shaping unconscious meanings and desires. Language reflects cultural socialization, for example, around gender differences. The meaning of words such as woman reflect cultural experiences and perceptions. For example, the fact that there are separate toilets labeled ladies and gentleman is a reflection of cultural practices in Western culture in which different genders use different toilets (Green & LeBihan, 1996). For applications of Lacan to film/media: Allen, R. (1997). Projecting illusion: Film spectatorship and the impression of reality. New York: Cambridge University Press. Fuery, P. (2000). New developments in film theory. New York: Palgrave. Fuery, P. (2003). Madness and Cinema : Psychoanalysis, Spectatorship and Culture. New York: Palgrave. Gledhill, C., & Williams, L. (2001). Reinventing film studies. London: Arnold. McGowan, T. & Kunkle, S. (Eds.). (2004). Lacan and contemporary film. New York: The Other Press. Rocchio, V. (2000). Reel racism: Confronting Hollywood's construction of Afro-American culture. New York: Westview. Zizek, S. (1992). Looking awry: An introduction to Jacques Lacan through popular culture. New York: October Books. Zizek, S. (2001). Enjoy your symptom!: Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and out. New York: Routledge. Barbara Creed (2000) identifies several psychoanalytic theories that draw on Lacan: 1). Apparatus theory. Apparatus theory refers to the ways in which film creates a sense of spectatorship in which the audience assumes a sense of unity and control. This sense of unity in the audience-screen relationship represents a return to the Imaginary or the mirror stage in which the child perceives herself in terms of a sense of idealized wholeness. In identifying with the

film star, a viewer harks back to the initial experience of perceiving oneself in idealized terms. Creed (2000) notes that Christian Metz (1982) posited that this viewing experience was voyeuristic because there is always a distance between the viewer and the screen image. This results in what Metz described as the imaginary signifierthe viewers recognition that the screen images portrayal of what is seemingly wholeas in the Imaginary, is only an illusion, then the viewer recognizes a sense of loss or something lacking. This sense of something lacking is related to male awareness of the mother lacking a penis, a lack which is made up by imaginary other forms of the phallus for females, evident in responses to female phallic symbols of the breast or high heel shoes. 2). The male gaze. Creed notes that feminist theorist reacted negatively to some of the largely male-focused uses of Lacans theories. For example, Laura Mulveys Screen article, Visual pleasure and narrative cinema, published in 1975, launched a focus on the ways in which the male gaze was shaped by psychological and cultural forces of male desire. http://www.jahsonic.com/VPNC.html Mulvey argued that the female image on the screen is largely that of the passive object subject to the male gaze. The male gaze stance pervades much of the media in which the female image becomes the object of male desire. While the male gaze reflects male desires, it also evokes unconscious anxieties related sexual difference. In many film, the threatening, strong woman was often punished at the end, serving the remove this threat for the presumed male audience. In a later article, Mulvey (1981) explored the female audience stance associated with positive identification with the strong, phallic female character, a reversion to Freuds preOedipal phase of moving between both masculine and feminine perspectives, creating a tension between the two. The male gaze: examples from different films http://www.jahsonic.com/LauraMulvey.html Dan Chandler: Notes on The Gaze http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/gaze/gaze09.html 3. Fantasy theory and the mobile gaze. Creed notes that Mulveys arguments have been criticized by others who posit that female desire can be defined in ways that go beyond Freudian theory and in ways that do not presuppose masculinity as the norm, as well as assuming a less deterministic, static stance (Doane, 1987 Kaplan, 2000; Modleski, 1988). Terje Skjerhal: Laura Mulvey against the grain: a critical assessment of the psychoanalytic feminist approach to film http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2152/mulvey.htm

For example, viewers may adopt a range of different fantasies of identity, sexuality, and castration/difference, often moving between those fantasies through adopting a mobile, shifting gaze (Cowie, 1984). Other theorists posited that pleasure can be derived from positions of passivity and submission, as well as the portrayal of alternative forms of masculinity other than the traditional controlling male (Silvermann, 1992). Psychoanalytic perspectives on sexuality also encompasses some queer theory perspectives that focus on the ways in which different forms of desires, including lesbian desires. Queer theory explores the portrayals of alternative portrayals of different forms of sexuality in media texts and films. Queertheory http://www.queertheory.com/ Popcultures: Queer theory http://www.popcultures.com/articles/queer.htm Queer theory and film analysis http://www.jahsonic.com/Queer.html For application of Queer Theory to media/film: Bad object-choices. (Ed.). (1991). How do I look? Queer film and video. Seattle: Bay Press. Barrios, R. (2001). Screened out: Playing gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall. New York: Routledge. Benshoff, H., & Griffin, S. (2004). Queer cinema: the film reader. New York: Routledge. Bornstein, K. (1994). Gender outlaw: Of men, women, and the rest of us. New York: Routledge. Campbell, J. (2000). Arguing with the phallus: Feminist, queer and postcolonial theory: A psychoanalytic contribution. New York: Zed Books. Creekmur, C., & Doty, A. (Eds.). (1995). Out in culture: Gay, lesbian, and queer essays on popular culture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Doty, A. (1993). Making things perfectly queer: Interpreting mass culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Dyer, R. (2002). Now you see it: Studies on lesbian and gay film. New York: Routledge. Hanson, E. (Ed.). (1999). Out takes: Essays on queer theory and film. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Jagose, A. (1996). Queer theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press.

Mayne, J. (2000). Framed: Lesbians, feminists, and media culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Tasker, Y. (1993). Spectacular bodies: Genre, genre, and the action film. New York: Routledge. Wilton, T. (1995). Immortal invisible: Lesbians and the moving image. New York: Routledge.

For texts on issues of gender and sexuality in films: Benshoff, H. M., & Griffin, S. (2003). America on film: Representing race, class, gender. New York: Blackwell. hooks, b. (1996). Reel to real: Race, sex, and class at the movies. New York: Routledge Hirabyashi, L. R. (Ed.) (2003). Reversing the lens: Ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality through film. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. Don Callen applies Lacans theories to an analysis of Citizen Kane: http://personal.bgsu.edu/~dcallen/description.html On a common aesthetic analysis of the place of rosebud in the film, Citizen Kane, the sled functions like a literary "symbol," an icon of unfulfilled promise, perhaps. Its essence is a matter of aesthetic "representation," more or less subjective impression. But in the Lacanian world, the figurative "power" of rosebud represents little Charles's teleological shaping of life, a meaningful integration of speech, action and world, which is actually focused in this childish limb. This condensation of childish mastery is sustained, however, only within the delicate (non-literary) symbolic/intersubjective balance that is broken when Charles Foster Kane is taken away to be made fit for his inheritance. In Lacanian terms, his desire is subjected to the mechanisms of the symbolic order, the big Other. By the same token, Kane's adult life is filled with projects, objects," which exude a very public impotence, for all the symbolic recognition that has been conferred upon him/them by others--perhaps the fundamental paradox of the film. So instead of reading the film in terms of an aesthetic overlay, something added as the expressive view of an artist, or aesthetically sensitive viewers, Lacanian theory has us see the world of our desires as filled with such foci of teleological necessity, possibility, promise, and failure--in other words, the content of our specific freedom. In his film course, Callen explores some of the following themes in various films: 1. The symbolic stage of desire, the big Other, signifiers and signification (The End of the Affair)

2. The imaginary: primary and secondary narcissism, metaphor and metonymy (The Little Thief) 3. The real, meaning and radical contingency (Dead Man) 4. The death drive, time and the eternal, missed encounters the two deaths (Magnolia) or perhaps (Bringing Out the Dead) 5. The modern (paranoid) subject, the tragic dilemma of meaning and being, Is it ever other than foolish to think "I'm the one?" (Matrix) 6. Neurosis, psychosis, perversion (The Talented Mr. Ripley) 7. Family values (American Beauty) 8. Dream and Fantasy (Being John Malkovich), (Fight Club) 9. Jouissance vs. the pleasure principle (Eyes Wide Shut) Mike Pinsky argues that a central theme in Lacan is the search for the phallus as the object of desire: http://www.dvdverdict.com/columns/deepfocus/lacanianfilmtheory.php In Lacan, the phallus is desexualized. It might be a penis, but it might also be any number of other "objects" that act as signifiers around which we project our Desire. Ironically, the phallus itself, whatever it is, has no intrinsic value. It is in itself worthless. It only gathers significance in reference to the desires projected upon it. But since it is not really what we desire (it is only a representation; the real desire is psychological), we remain unfulfilled and continue our pursuit until we die. For instance, in The Maltese Falcon, when Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and company finally gather around the table to uncover the allegedly valuable Maltese Falcon that they have all been scrambling after, they strip away the surface to discover that it is a fake, devoid of actual value. Gutman (Sidney Greenstreet) is disappointed, but we get the impression that the real thrill for him is in the chase. In fact, Spade has been pursuing the Falcon the entire film not because it is worth money, but because it signifies the solution to his partner's murder, the closure of "justice." In this sense, he is the only one who receives fulfillment from winning the phallus, although this justice ironically thwarts his other desire: he has to turn in the woman he loves. This doubling of Desire (sex v. justice) is fairly common in "hard-boiled" detective stories and shows that Desire itself, in the Lacanian sense, does not have to be merely sexual. Drawing on psychoanalytic theories, Norman Holland (1998) http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/rdgident.htm argues that readers and audiences apply certain identity themes to their responses that reflect a

dialectic of sameness and difference by noting patterns in their own and in characters practices that represent sameness. At the same time, they also note deviations from that pattern that represent difference. He cites the example of a student, Sebastian, whose identity theme was one of wanting to please those in power. In responding to a quote about the character of Colonel Saratoris in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily: who he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron, Sebastian focused on the Colonel as a power figure with whom he identities: I react to the term `fathered' the edict . . . Fathering the edict seems to in some way be fathering the women, to be fathering that state of affairs. So it implied for me the sexual - well [he laughed] - intercourse that took place between whites and Negroes (p. 13). All of this suggests for Holland that identity is a relationship: the potential, transitional, in between space in which I perceive someone as a theme and variations (p. 15). Hollands notion of identity theme suggests that readers and audiences identities stem from psychological needs for power and support. These needs are manifested in the ways in which readers and audiences respond in a consistent mannerthe element of sameness, a consistency that reflects the reiteration of a certain identity theme. For example, a reader who is consistently adopts a deferential stances given her concern with offending others, may respond negatively to characters whom she perceives as overly assertive or controlling. Norman Holland: responses to films: Shakespeare in Love http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/wsinlove.htm The Seventh Seal http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/7thseal.htm 8 1/2 http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/8andhalf.htm Vertigo http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/vertigo.htm In applying these theories to the classroom, students could discuss central role of desire and fantasy in shaping their responses. For example, they could examine the ways in which audiences desire for change in themselves or in society may shape their responses to media texts. People who desire a more equitable society may respond positively to documentaries portraying the problems of an inequitable society. Marshall Alcorn (2002) argues not all of these desires for change are of equal moral worth. He notes that in debates over tax cuts and government spending, a citizen could argue

that their desire for a tax cut associated with purchasing a new luxury vehicle to support the economy does not carry the same moral weight as the desire to support food or shelter programs for the poor. For Alcorn, desire creates a dialectical conflict related to a demand for a better symbolic representation of the world and ones identity. This dialectical conflict standards in opposition to a fixated resistance to dialectical exploration associated with what Lacan describes as the master discoursethe need for an authority figure in the form of political or religious leader or authority figure who provide people with a sense of certainty. One of the subjective appeals of a master discourse is that it provides a ready-made alignment to a community of similarly devoted members. People then define their identities as loyal followers of the leader or authority figure who fulfills their desires for an identity constituted by a set of non-dialectical, fixated beliefs. For example, the evangelical Left-Behind novel series that portrays the plight of those who have not made it to heaven and are fighting the forces of the anti-Christ provides readers with an appealing absolutist cultural model of good versus evil. In these novels, those who are left behind to fend for themselves are continually on guard against the omniscient threat of evil temptations. These novels provide readers who subscribe to evangelical religious master discourse with a reaffirmation of the value of being a certain kind of person constituted by being a devote follower of this discourse as a means of combating the continual potential threat of evil forces in their lives (Gutjahr, 2002). Creed (2000) notes that some of these psychoanalytic perspectives fail to account for the influence of historical and cultural forces on the viewer, as well as well as lacking any empirical basis for their claims based on the responses of actual viewers responses to media texts. Gilles Deleuze. Another important theorist related to subjective aspects of media and film is Gilles Deleuze (1989), a French philosopher. Deleuze was interested in how audiences assigned certain subjective meaning to certain perspectives operating in moving images. He identified three types of movement: the perception-image, the action-image, and the affection-image. Gilles Deleuzes theories http://www.jahsonic.com/GillesDeleuze.html Daniel Frampton (1991) describes each of these types of movements. http://www.filmosophy.org/articles/deleuze The perception-image The perception-image is the perception of perception. In the cinema, if we are shown a

person going into a room and looking around, and then a cut to a long-shot of the room as it would be from the position of the person, then this is the perception of perception, or the perception-image. It might seem that this is just another term for the familiar pointof-view shot, but Deleuze defines two types of perception-image: the subjectively justified 'point-of-view' shot as described above (direct discourse); and the anonymous viewpoint, where the camera seems to act like a disembodied eye, not quite objective, but semi-subjective (indirect discourse), yet which could always turn out to be truly subjective (e.g., in the horror film, the floating camera in the bushes at the back of the house suddenly spewing a hand that tries the back door).What Deleuze is getting at here is the idea that there is a cinematic vision of content: in being able to see a viewpoint (subjective), and then the character and his world from a different point of view, the transition effects a transformation in the viewpoint of the character. This can be most prominent when the subjective image picks out something very specific that was not so obvious in the character/world shot. The action-image The action-image defines a structure (and is thus more like traditional theories of film) rather than any one particular image, and is the familiar place of 'determinate, geographical, historical and social space-times' (MI:141), of realism, behaviour, and actual milieux whose forces act on a character making him act to 'modify the milieu, or his relation with the milieu, with the situation, [or] with other characters' (MI:141), and so to attain a new situation. This is Deleuze's 'large form' of the action image: SAS', from situation to new situation via an action; and its variables, SAS: reactionary action and no new situation resulting; and SAS': a negative action producing a worse situation. The affection-image Deleuze's classification of the affection-image relates to the close-up image, whether of a face crying or angry, or a clock, or indeed any object which is thus immediately 'faceified . . . there is no close-up *of* the face, the face is in itself close-up, the close-up is by itself face and both are affect, affection-image' (MI:88). What Deleuze means by this is that all close-ups give the image as much importance as if it were of a face -- for example, the cut to a clockface *or* a human face will have the same degree of (micropolitical) significance if preceded by a large crowd scene -- they both hold not one thought (meaning) but many, by gathering and expressing the effect 'as a complex unity' (MI:103). These three types of images represent the importance of how images unfold in time as shaping ones subjective experience of those images. In focusing on the perception-image, an audience considers how different perceptions are operating in a scenewhos perceiving whom

and how is the audience positioned in this network of perceptions to create certain subjective stances. In focusing on the action image, audiences are examining how a series of images is shaped by changes in situations or contexts, changes that create certain subjective reactions. And in focusing on the affection-image, audiences are focusing on how images shown prior to a close up influence the subjective meaning of that close-up. Gilles Deleuze links: http://www.mythosandlogos.com/Deleuze.html http://www.uta.edu/english/apt/d&g/d&gweb.html http://lists.village.virginia.edu/~spoons/d-g_html/d-g.html http://www.popcultures.com/theorists/deleuze.html For further reading on Deleuze and film Pisters, P. (2003). The matrix of visual culture: Working with Deleuze in film theory. Stanford: Stanford University Press. References: Psychoanalytic theory Alcorn, M. W. (2002). Changing the subject in English class: Discourse and the constructions of desire. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York: Routledge. Cowie, E. (1984). Fantasia. m/f, 9, 71-105. Creed, B. (2000). Film and psychoanalysis. In J. Hill & P. C. Gibson (Eds.), Film studies: Critical approaches (pp. 75-88). New York: Oxford University Press. Deleuze, G. (1989). Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Doane, M. A. (1987). The desire to desire: The womans film of the 1940s. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Green, K., & LeBihan, J. (1996). Critical theory & practice: A coursebook. New York: Routledge. Gutjahr, P. C. (2002). No longer left behind: Amazon.com, reader-response, and the changing fortunes of the Christian novel in America. Book History, 5, 209-236. Holland, N. (1998). Reading and identity. [Online]: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/rdgident.htm Kaplan, A. (Ed.). (1990). Psychoanalysis and the cinema. New York: Routledge. Labeua, V. (1994). Lost angels: Psychoanalysis and cinema. New York: Routledge. Lacan, J. (1977). The four fundamental concepts of psycho-analysis. London: Hogarth Press. Metz, C. (1982). Psychoanalysis and cinema: The imaginary signifier. New York: Macmillan.

Modleski, T. (1988). The women who knew too much: Hitchcock and feminist theory. New York: Methuen. Soloman, R. (1976). The passions: The myth and nature of human emotions. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Vetlesen, A. J. (1994). Perception, empathy, and judgment: An inquiry into the preconditions of moral performance. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Silverman, K. (1992). Male subjectivity at the margins. New York: Routledge.

Feminist Criticism Feminist criticism has undergone a number of shifts as applied to media texts. It initially focused on the patriarchic nature of media texts, both in terms of the fact that males were not only the dominant producers of such texts, but most of the main characters with power were male. As previously mentioned in relation to psychoanalytic perspectives, feminist critics also noted the ways in which audiences were invited to adopt a male gaze stance (Mulvey, 1989) that positioned viewers to perceive females as objects of masculine desire. For example, Jean Kilbourne, (1999) in her Killing Us Softly series, and in Slim Hopes, demonstrates how advertising creates gender images that sexualize adolescent females and define norms for body weight associated with the beauty industry: http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/KillingUsSoftly3 http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/SlimHopes And, in his documentary, Dreamworlds II, Sut Jhally demonstrates how MTV music videos portray women as sex objects within the context of an adolescent male fantasy world. http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/Dreamworlds2 As questions arose from poststructuralist feminists about the essentialist binary oppositions of males versus females, feminist critics, as well as queer studies, focused more on the gendered nature of certain social practices associated with power, as well as the gendered nature of media genres and social contexts such as sports games or the Internet as highly masculine sites. A leading theorist who challenges these essentialist gender notions is Judith Butler. In her book, Gender Trouble, she argues that gender should be perceived as an historical or cultural set of performances that are continually changing to adopt to different contexts. Judith Butlers theories on gender http://www.theory.org.uk/ctr-butl.htm Module on Judith Butlers theories http://www.sla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/genderandsex/modules/butlergendersex.html Mary Klages: summary of Gender Trouble http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/butler.html

In a student essay, Sally Young, describes Butlers position on performance applied to popular culture http://www.theory.org.uk/ctr-b-e1.htm Butler concludes that our gender is not a core aspect of our identity but rather a performance, how we behave at different times. Our gender (masculinity and femininity) is an achievement rather than a biological factor. To illustrate this point Butler refers to the Aretha Franklin song, You make me feel like a natural woman. In this song, Franklin can sing, "You make me feel like a woman" without this being presumed necessarily obvious. In other words, a woman does not necessarily feel feminine all the time, any more than a man feels masculine. Butler suggests that we should think of gender as freefloating and fluid rather than fixed: "When the constructed status of gender is theorized as radically independent of sex, gender itself becomes a free-floating artifice, with the consequence that man and masculine might just as easily signify a female body as a male one, and woman and feminine a male body as easily as a female one." (Butler, 1990, p.6) Butler advocates 'gender trouble' as a way of challenging traditional notions of gender identities. Butler's main metaphor for this is drag. By dressing up as a member of the opposite sex, drag artists are subverting ideas of gender norms, challenging the "constitutive categories that seek to keep gender in its place by posturing as the foundational illusions of identity" (Butler, 1990, p.148). Although Butler does not offer any other concrete examples of how people might go about subverting gender roles, Madonna is often used as an illustration of someone who does not keep to traditional gender roles. In the video of her song, Justify My Love, for example, there are several characters who are dressed and behave in ways which make their sex and gender indeterminable. During her Blonde Ambition tour, Madonna openly defied traditional feminine roles by performing in a sexually dominant and confident way: "She is not so constrained by the gender boundaries that control most of her audience... She is able to use her power as a star to articulate the sexualities and fantasies that other women would be condemned for." (Skeggs, 1993, p.67) Butlers argument that gender performances are continually changing given historical and cultural forces is evident in the emergence of the mens magazine that celebrates traditional performances of masculinity and femininity. Lucy Brown in an essay, Are magazines for young men likely to reinforce stereotypical, 'macho' and sexist attitudes in their readers? argues that in the current culture, that challenges facing masculinity leads to backlash adoption of

traditional masculine roles in ways that exclude the emotional soft side of males: http://www.theory.org.uk/mensmags.htm Immaterial of whether these publications were the result of a backlash against feminism, or whether there was merely a gap in market, masculinity is in crisis. Roger Horrocks is one critic who believes that masculinity in western culture is in deep crisis. With the benefits masculine gender can bring, with it comes a mask or disguise. The emphasis on male dominance in public areas of life has tended to obscure the emotional poverty of many men's lives.[9] Magazines tend to reflect this in that they portray only one side of masculinity, leaving out the emotional bit, and concentrating on the outward display of masculinity. Here one can see that the stereotyping of men within these magazines as macho male and ignoring the stereotypical 'emotional male' or even 'soft lad', can lead to problems and criticisms. Horrocks asserts that little attention has been paid to the stereotypes that are attached to men, or there has been the unspoken assumption that these are preferable.[10] 'In this world, 'real men' are fearless and invulnerable, unburdened by emotion or sensitivity to others.'[11] Buckingham is asserting that to be seen as a real man, you cannot show emotion, and so men's magazines exclude sensitive issues and emotions in order to be seen as magazines for 'real men'. In discussing the release of a new magazine 'Deluxe' in an article for the media guardian, John Dugdale writes 'even though banning babes sacrifices the one sure-fire sales-boosting device in today's men's market, not least by reducing horny schoolboy appeal. Are there really 150,000 soft lads out there.'[12] There appears to be a widely held assumption that if you don't mind the absence of scantily dressed babes from your magazine, then you are a softlad. 'What is obviously missing from this celebration of one-night stands, obsessive consumerism and male bonding is how men's needs for reciprocity and emotional warmth are to be met.'[13] (Stevenson et al, 2000) In an excerpt from a book by David Gauntlett Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction, New York, Blackwell Press (http://www.theoryhead.com/gender/) interviews Kirsten Pullen about the role of magazines in constructing gender: http://www.theoryhead.com/gender/interview1.htm KP: One of the things I like about your work and that this book seems to do well is to recognize and interrogate the ambivalence of some of the new ways of talking about gender in the media -- Maxim and other men's magazines are both about an assertive masculinity and about a vulnerability and concern with image traditionally associated with women's magazines. My question, then, is what tools do you bring to bear, both in

your writing and in your classes, to go beyond an initial 'yay, pop culture!' or 'ugh, pop culture!' response? DG: Oh that's a good question. It's not really satisfactory to have an essay that goes, 'Are women's magazines a good thing or a bad thing?', and then they debate the pros and cons and decide that they are mostly bad (or good) but with some good (or bad) aspects. As you suggest, that doesn't get us very far. To understand these questions better I think we need to look at what the appeal of the magazine (or whatever other piece of popular culture) is -- in other words, why is it popular? -- and then look at what meanings that thing might have for an individual and how it might, in any small or subtle way, have an influence on a person's sense of identity. So I'm always on the lookout for any theorist that might give us useful tools for thinking about that. In Media, Gender and Identity I aim to show how people can make use of the work of Anthony Giddens (on how media products can be used as part of the construction of a 'lifestyle' and a 'narrative of the self'); and Michel Foucault (on how media may contribute to the cultivation of the self, and also lead people to monitor and police themselves and their projected identities); and Judith Butler (on the fluidity of identities); amongst others. KP: You seem to suggest that 'popular feminism' has allowed many young men and women to shift some of their ideas about gender roles -- the 'radio-friendly remix' has disseminated feminism to a wider audience. While I think this is certainly true and even positive, I wonder if there isn't a danger here. Many of my students and colleagues (of all ages and genders) assume that the 'women's lib' battles have been fought and won -- after all, Ally McBeal is a serious lawyer despite her gender and her short skirts. For someone who is always aware that it's more complicated than that (my favorite phrase), I worry that 'popular feminism' masks more ambivalence about gender roles than its widespread acceptance suggests. Any thoughts? DG: There's certainly a problem that people think debates about gender are over with now, and that feminism has come, and done its thing, and that's that. I think it's interesting that Angela McRobbie, who would probably call herself a feminist, dares to suggest that the problem is partly because feminism failed to keep up, after certain popular discourses (Cosmo, and later Madonna, and then the Spice Girls, then Destiny's Child) picked up the ball and ran with it. (They popularised certain ideas -- assertiveness for women, basically -- but also of course didn't carry forward all of feminism's messages. The idea that you shouldn't have to conform to a glamorous ideal, for example, seems to have been lost here). McRobbie realistically recognises that young women

today grew up in a time when feminism was the language used by some well-established authority figures -- it's like the voice of your parents! We couldn't expect them to just accept that ideology -- rebellion is much more healthy. And in fact, it's not like the new generations have rejected feminism -- they have embraced it really, but they wouldn't call it 'feminism' because of feminism's image problem. But, as you say, although the popular remix of feminism is accepted by young women, it remains the case that most women and men remain somewhat constricted within particular gender roles. My students would say 'That's because we like it like this,' but I still think it's rather too delineated. What do you think has been the significance (or not) of the populist remix of feminism put forward by Cosmo and the confident female pop groups? Feminist critics also focused attention on how female adolescents constructed gendered identities through responses to romance novels and teenage magazines (Alvermann, Moon, & Hagood, 1999; Christian-Smith, 1994; Finders, 1997; McRobbie, 1993). Pre-adolescent females constructed their responses to a romance novel around categories of "good" versus "bad" girl defined within the historical context of patriarchic discourse (Enciso, 1998). The females in this study collectively created their own subject position for dealing with the contradictions or double-binds associated with being both good and bad girls in school. This research also examines how, even within gender groups, adolescent females respond in ways that serve to socially exclude others students perceived to have less power (Finders, 1997). They also examined how teen magazines position and socialize adolescent females to assume membership in imaginary communities of consumption, noting the ways in which, for example, ads address readers as you, in an attempt to create a synthetic sisterhood (Currie, 1999). And, they examined how the beauty industrys merchandizing and marketing associated with products such as the Barbie Doll served to construct gender identities (Wasson-Ellam, 1997). More attention has also been given to analysis of how masculinity is constructed in media texts, particularly in terms of male power/control and in terms of portrayals of violence in computer games and films: http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/ToughGuise http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/GameOver http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/WrestlingWithManhood lots of links on gender and the media on the University of Iowa Communications Department site http://www.uiowa.edu/~commstud/resources/GenderMedia/assorted.html

For a discussions of theories of gender and sexuality by Dino Felluga: http://www.sla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/genderandsex/index.html For an excellent set of essays on role models in popular culture, with a particular focus on magazines, related to gender: http://www.theory.org.uk/ctr-role.htm For a discussion of masculinity and academic discourses: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/education/jlemke/webs/gender/index2.htm For further applications of gender theory to media: For hundreds of sites related to feminism: http://vos.ucsb.edu/browse.asp?id=2711 For the application of feminist criticism to television, go to: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/feminist.html For films/videos on women, gender, and feminism: http://www.nau.edu/~wst/access/media/media.html For abstracts on the following books, see: http://www.theory.org.uk/ctb-gend.htm http://www.theory.org.uk/ctb-quee.htm Bornstein, K. (1998), My Gender Workbook. New York: Routledge. Bristow, J. (1997), Sexuality. New York: Routledge. Brooks, A. (1997). Postfeminisms: Feminism, cultural theory and cultural forms. New York: Routledge. Brunsdon, C., DAcci, J., & Spigel, L. (Eds.). (1997). Feminist television criticism: A reader. New York: Oxford University Press. Carson, D., Dittmar, L., & Welsch, J. (Eds.). (1995). Multiple voices in feminist film criticism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Clare, A. (2001). On men: Masculinity in crisis. London: Arrow. Eagleton, M. (1996), Working with Feminist Criticism. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Foucault, M. (1976). The history of sexuality Volume One: The will to knowledge. New York: Penguin.

Foucault, M. (1984). The Foucault Reader (Ed.), P. Rabinow. New York: Penguin. Halperin, D. (1995), Saint Foucault: Towards a gay hagiography. New York: Oxford University Press. Harding, J. (1998). Sex acts: Practices of femininity and masculinity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Hermes, J. (1995), Reading women's magazines. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. hooks, b. (2000). Feminist theory: From margin to center - Second Edition. London: Pluto Press. Humm, M. (1997). Feminism and film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Jackson, P., Stevenson, N. & Brooks, K. (2001). Making sense of men's magazines. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. Joyrich, L. (1996). Re-viewing reception: Television, gender, and postmodern culture. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Kaplan, E. A. (1997). Looking for the other: Feminism, film, and the imperial gaze. New York: Routledge. Kaplan, E. A. (Ed.). (2000). Feminism and film. New York: Oxford University Press. Kuhn, A. (1994). Womens pictures: Feminism and cinema. London: Verso. McRobbie, A. (1999). In the culture society: Art, fashion and popular music. New York: Routledge. Nixon, S. (1996), Hard looks: Masculinities, spectatorship and contemporary consumption. London: UCL. Ruby, R. (1998). Chick flicks: Theories and memories of the feminist film movement. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. Schwichtenberg, C. (Ed.). (1993), The Madonna connection: Representational politics, subcultural identities, and cultural theory. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Smelik, A. (2003). And the mirror cracked: Feminist cinema and film theory. New York: Palgrave. Thornham, S. (1997). Passionate detachments: An introduction to feminist film theory. London: Arnold. Thornham, S. (Ed.). (1999). Feminist film theory: A reader. New York: New York University Press. Whatling, C. (1997), Screen dreams: Fantasising lesbians in film. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. Whiteley, S. (2000), Women and popular music: Sexuality, identity and subjectivity. New York: Routledge. Application: There is explicit reference to gender roles in the Secret ad. How would feminists examine these portrayal of roles in the ad?

Postmodern Theory Postmodern theory challenges the modernists beliefs or master narratives associated with progress, truth, human improvement, high art, science, technologythe assumption that these narratives will lead humans to a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment. Postmodern perspectives are evident in much of contemporary art, film, architecture, fiction, and music, that challenges and even parodies traditional forms. For example, the Wiseman Art Museum uses alternative designs to spoof traditional forms of boxlike buildings. A leading theorist of postmodernism is Jean Baudrillard. Baudrillard posits that we are living in a word of hyperreality constructed largely of surface media images that challenges and undermines modernist notions of reality and truth. Douglas Kellner summarizes his thinking http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/kell26.htm Baudrillard's analyses point to a significant reversal of the relation between representation and reality. Previously, the media were believed to mirror, reflect, or represent reality, whereas now the media are coming to constitute a (hyper)reality, a new media reality -- "more real than real" -- where "the real" is subordinate to representation leading to an ultimate dissolving of the real. In addition, in "The Implosion of Meaning in the Media," Baudrillard claims that the proliferation of signs and information in the media obliterates meaning through neutralizing and dissolving all content -- a process which leads both to a collapse of meaning and the destruction of distinctions between media and reality. In a society supposedly saturated with media messages, information and meaning "implode," collapsing into meaningless "noise," pure effect without content or meaning. Thus, for Baudrillard: "information is directly destructive of meaning and signification, or neutralizes it. The loss of meaning is directly linked to the dissolving and dissuasive action of information, the media, and the mass media.... Information devours its own contents; it devours communication and the social.... information dissolves meaning and the social into a sort of nebulous state leading not at all to a surfeit of innovation but to the very contrary, to total entropy" (SSM, pp. 96-100). Baudrillard cites the example of Disney World as an artificial construction of reality http://www.uta.edu/english/apt/collab/texts/disneyworld.html At Disney World in Orlando, they are even building an identical replica of the Los Angeles Disneyland, as a sort of historical attraction to the second degree, a simulacrum

to the second power. It is the same thing that CNN did with the Gulf War: a prototypical event which did not take place, because it took place in real time, in CNN's instantaneous mode. Today, Disney could easily revisit the Gulf War as a worldwide show. The Red Army choirs have already celebrated Christmas at Euro Disney. Everything is possible, and everything is recyclable in the polymorphous universe of virtuality. Everything can be bought over. There is no reason why Disney would not take over the human genome, which, by the way, is already being resequenced, to turn it into a genetic show. In the end [au fond], they would cryogenize the entire planet, just like Walt Disney himself who decided to be cryogenized in a nitrogen solution, waiting for some kind of resurrection in the real world. But there is no real world anymore, not even for Walt Disney. If one day he wakes up, he'll no doubt have the biggest surprise of his life. Meanwhile, from the bottom of his nitrogen solution he continues to colonize the world - both the imaginary and the real - in the spectral universe of virtual reality, inside which we all have become extras [figurants]. The difference is that when we put on our digital suits, plug in our sensorial captors, or press the keys of our virtual reality arcade, we enter live spectrality whereas Disney, the genial anticipator, has entered the virtual reality of death. The New World Order is in a Disney mode. But Disney is not alone in this mode of cannibalistic attraction. We saw Benetton with his commercial campaigns, trying to recuperate the human drama of the news (AIDS, Bosnia, poverty, apartheid) by transfusing reality into a New Mediatic Figuration (a place where suffering and commiseration end in a mode of interactive resonance). The virtual takes over the real as it appears, and then replicates it without any modification [le recrache tel quel], in a preta-porter (ready-to-wear) fashion. If this operation can be so successful in creating a universal fascination with only a tint of moral disapproval, it is because reality itself, the world itself, with its frenzy of cloning has already been transformed into an interactive performance, some kind of Lunapark for ideologies, technologies, works, knowledge, death, and even destruction. All this is likely to be cloned and resurrected in a juvenile museum of Imagination or a virtual museum of Information. For more material on Baudrillard: http://www.uta.edu/english/apt/collab/baudweb.html Michael Real (1996) outlines some of the basic qualities of postmodernism: - Pastichecombining together different styles and content from different periods within the

same text, creating unusual combinations of borrowed styles from different eras. Music videos use a montage of images n from classic films, advertising, television, or rap, and filmed with unusual, non-traditional techniques. - breakdowns of master narratives featuring the final triumph of good over evil through science or human problem-solving, as well as a clear distinction between reality and fiction. This is evident in much of contemporary fiction by DeLillo, Carver, and Atwood, as well as films: Blue Velvet, Pulp Fiction, Mulholland Drive, Run Lola Run, and Memento, and the television series, Twin Peaks. The texts continually elude definitive interpretation of true meanings, by parodying and playing with alternative narrative development and assumptions about the meaning of images. The seemingly tranquil town in Blue Velvet is anything but tranquil. Pulp Fiction plays with three different versions of a crime story as borrowed from detective novels and B-crime films. Mulholland Drive, Run Lola Run, and Memento create alternative narratives around the same events, challenging audience assumptions about what really happened. Mulholland Drive portrays one version of events based on the traditional story of the innocent female who arrives in Hollywood to become a successful movie star, only to juxtapose that story against a darker version of the same events. Run Lola Run portrays three different versions of the same event. And Memento shows events occurring in reverse, dealing with issues of memory and time. Challenging traditional narratives or ways of knowing conveys the important role of the media in shaping perceptions of reality that experience as mediated through media images and discourses. - the ways in communication technology creates mass reproduction of texts, creating copies for which there is no original, what Baudrillard (1983) described as a hyperreality based on simulation of reality. Much of contemporary art plays with the idea of endless copies or parodying of texts that only create a simulation of reality that focuses on the image or surface of reality. The sculpture, Jeff Koons, creates glossy statues of pop stars such as Michael Jackson, that parody the constant reproduction of pop star images. - the domination of conspicuous consumerism in which everything is commodified or commercialized; to some degree, postmodernism both celebrates and parodies consumer products, as evident in Target ads portraying multiple images of consumer products. - the fragmentation of sensibility and the plurality or multiplicity of perspectives evident in the often random juxtaposition of images in music videos or contemporary art. Films such as Pulp Fiction parodies different versions of reality by using a lot of references to images from previous films, including the image of John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever. This fragmentation and focus on surface images creates self-reflexivitythe need to reflect on the lack of coherent

meaning, as well as an ironic humor. The Po-Mo Page: discussion of different aspects of postmodern theory http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/theory/pomo.html For an introduction to postmodern theory by Dino Felluga http://www.sla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/postmodernism/index.html For an introduction to postmodern theory by Douglas Kellner http://www.uta.edu/huma/illuminations/best8.htm For an introduction to postmodern theory by Mary Klages http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html Postmodernism and the Media, Andreas Saugstad http://goinside.com/00/11/media.html Popculture.org: lots of theoretical essays on postmodernism http://www.popcultures.com/articles/postmod.htm The Simpsons as a postmodern text: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/~cbybee/j388/postmodernism.html Postmodernism and Science Fiction Films http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~sparks/sffilm/pomodsf.html The journal, Postmodern Culture http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/ For further reading on postmodernism applied to teaching media/film: Alemany-Galway, M. (2002). A postmodern cinema. New York: Rowan & Littlefield. Bignell, J. (2000). Postmodern media culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Daspit, T., & Weaver, J. (1998). Popular culture and critical pedagogy: Reading, constructing, connecting. New York: Garland. Giroux, H. (1997). Counternarratives: Cultural studies and critical pedagogies in postmodern spaces. New York: Routledge. Green, B., & Fitzclarence, L. (1999). Schooling the future: Education, youth and

postmodernism. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis. Kelly, U. (1997). Schooling desire: Literacy, cultural politics, and pedagogy. New York: Routledge. Marshall, B. K. (1992). Teaching the postmodern: Fiction and theory. New York: Routledge. McRobbie, A. (1994). Postmodernism and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge. Raschke, C. (2002). The digital revolution and the coming of the postmodern university. New York: Routledge. Application: In what ways does the Secret ad play with alternative versions of being successful.

Postcolonial Theory Postcolonial theory examine that ways in which colonial or imperialist conceptions of the world are portrayed in literature and media texts. It focuses on the fact that much of the media represents the third world or previously colonialized parts of the world as the otheras nonWestern, i.e., as backward, uncivilized mysterious, undeveloped, primative, and dangerous. These perceptions stem from 19th and early 20th century conceptions of the world in which Western powers still controlled much of the worldfor example, in 1914, European countries controlled 85% of world. In his study of Orientalism, Edward Said (1978) demonstrated how Orientalism was a racist and sexist discourse for a superior European perception of the Orient as exotic, mysterious, erotic, different, and non-white or other. Postcolonial literary critics have examined texts such as The Heart of Darkness to note how Conrad portrays African from a European perspective. Asians, Middle-Easterns, Africans, or Muslins in Hollywood films continue to be portrayed in ways that reflect European/American stereotypes of these regions and their cultural practices. Edward Said, On Orientalism http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaRaceAndRepresentation/EdwardSaidOnOrientalism Edward Said, The Myth of The Clash of Civilizations http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaRaceAndRepresentation/TheMythofTheClashofCivilizatio ns For further reading on postcolonial theory: http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/ http://www.scholars.nus.edu.sg/landow/post/poldiscourse/discourseov.html Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies Webquest: The British Empire and the Legacy of Colonialism http://webpages.shepherd.edu/ltate/WebQuestEmpire.htm For abstracts of the following books on postcolonial theory, see the The Untimely Past: http://www.untimelypast.org/bibsub.html For further reading on postcolonialism: Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1998). Key concepts in post-colonial studies. New York: Routledge.

Coundouriotis, E. (1999). Claiming history: Colonialism, ethnography, and the novel. New York: Columbia University Press. Curran, J., & Park, M. (Eds.). (2000). De-Westernizing media studies. New York: Routledge. Dirks, N. (Ed.). (1992). Colonialism and culture Ann Arbor, MI. Dirlik, A. (1997). The postcolonial aura: Third world criticism in the age of global capitalism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Guha, R. (1997). Dominance without hegemony: History and power in colonial India. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. McLaren, P. (Ed.). (2001). Postmodernism, Postcolonialism and Pedagogy. New York: James Nicholas. Moore-Gilbert, Bart. (1997). Postcolonial theory: Contexts, practices, politics. London: Verso. Prakash, G. (1995). After colonialism: Imperial histories and postcolonial displacements. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books. Spivak, G. C. (1999). A Critique of postcolonial reason: Toward a history of the vanishing present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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