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Cultural Rhetorical Studies - MyTMC

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					 Cultural Rhetorical
      Studies
                 1.     Define key elements of cultural studies.
       2. Show how cultural studies and rhetorical studies are related.
               3. Discuss key terms related to cultural studies.
4.   Identify ways cultural studies and rhetorical studies complement each other.
    What is Cultural Studies?
 Students of culture studies trace the discipline to two
  books in the 1950s.
   1. Richard Hoggart’s The Use of Literacy
   2. Raymond William’s Culture and Society

      These authors sought to examine how culture could be made
       more democratic and free of ideological constraints. They
       took up they task of exploring how cultures were created not
       just by “elite” works of literature and art but also by the more
       popular cultural texts to which everyone is exposed.
                      Definition
 Cultural studies is extremely difficult to define with any
  degree of precision. It’s not really possible to draw a
  sharp line and say that on one side of it we can find the
  proper province of cultural studies.

 Fiske offers a succinct definition of cultural studies-
   Is a way of living within an industrial society that
    encompasses the meanings of that social experience.
   Essentially, cultural studies is interested in signification, or
    how signs come to have meaning within a culture.
             Definition Cont’d
 This perspective assumes that meaning is not
  something fixed or permanent.
   Instead, meanings are varied, temporary, and based on
    personal experiences – a view much common to
    postmodernism.
                      Example
 Example – Two people are watching the same TV show.
  They may come to different meanings about that the
  show and its characters mean.
 These different meanings are based on the experiences
  of those viewers.
   -- Cultural studies critics look to all variables involved in how
     culture is created and maintained: the process by which texts
     are created, the situations of receivers, the dominant political
     ideology at the time, the previous meanings that have
     existed, and the competing meanings for a text.
                         Origins
 Culture studies has been influenced by Marxism and that all
  the basic assumptions of cultural studies are Marxism.

 Cultural studies is interested in how meanings in a culture
  are related to the social structure and history of the culture.

 Cultural studies, like Marxism, assumes that inequalities
  exist along gender, ethnic, generational, and classlines.
   Culture is seen as a way of dividing groups and as a site of
     struggle between those groups over the meanings that exist
     within a culture.
     Goals of Cultural Studies
 The goal is to show the political aspects of culture.
   Theorists think of politics in a broad sense. They illustrate
     how particular cultural practices and texts privilege one
     set of values or beliefs within a culture.

   Cultural studies tries to theorize about what kinds of
     political actions can be taken within a given cultural and
     communication structure.
                  Goals Cont’d
 Grossberg (1997) explains further:
   “It is not about interpreting or judging texts or people, but
    about describing how people’s everyday lives are
    articulated by and with culture, how they are empowered
    and disempowered by the particular structures and forces
    that organize their lives, always in contradictory ways,
    and how their everyday lives are themselves articulated
    to and by the trajectories of economic and political
    power.”
         Nelson’s Eight-Point
        Manifesto of C.S. Beliefs
   1. CS has a history of literature that must be considered when one performs a “CS”
    critique.

   2. CS does not necessarily have to concern itself with artifacts of popular culture.

   3. CS is concerned with cultural context and politics of signification.

   4. CS is concerned with the production, reception, and use of cultural texts.

   5. CS considers the relationships between texts, objects, and cultural forces.

   6. CS does not provide a “fixed, repeatable methodology.”

   7. CS criticism suggests future courses of action for members of a culture.

   8. Academic disciplines that teach cultural studies must take seriously the politics of
    disciplinarity.
                  Rosteck (1999)
 Rosteck (1999) notes that cultural studies and rhetoric
  studies share much in common:
 Similarities:
   Both seek to understand how meanings are created –
    interested in questions related to how power is managed
    through communication; movies, television shows, or
    advertising.
   Both entail critical practice. Throughout this book we examined
    rhetorical criticism, which is the application of rhetorical theory
    to rhetorical practice to make a judgment about rhetoric. CS
    uses the same critical tool.
   Both concern themselves with ultimate and complete disclosure
    of the artifact or practice being studied.
               Rosteck Cont’d
 Differences:
   Rhetorical studies focuses primarily on texts, cultural
    studies focuses on context as well.
   Rhetoric studies has traditionally taken a neutral position
    toward the artifact; cultural studies takes a political
    position toward it.
   Rhetoric studies has traditionally focused on legitimate
    social institutions, whereas cultural studies has
    emphasized alternative institutions that resist the
    establishment.
                     Stuart Hall
 Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on Feb. 3, 1932.
 Moved to England to attend Oxford University as a
  recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship.

 One of the most influential cultural theorists.
 Some of his works include:
      What is Black in Popular Culture? (1992), Questions of
       Cultural Identity (1996), and Visual Cultural (1999).
    Basis of Cultural Studies:
           Hall: Ideas
 Cultural studies is the investigation of how members of
  industrial societies creates meaning.
   Typically, media are a primary way that individuals learn
    about the possible meanings for symbols, people, or
    objects.
   Hall points out that from this perspective, critics often look
    for a gap between what is true and what is presented.
   Previously, media critics make an argument that a TV
    show portrays a minority person inaccurately or
    incorrectly.
     For Hall, this view that you can accurately portray an idea
       through media is outdated and inaccurate.
        Idea of Representation
 Instead Hall offered the idea of representation.
   Meaning depends on how ideas, objects, or people are
      represented.
     Meaning doesn’t exist until the idea has been
      represented.
     Meaning is part of the event and doesn’t exist outside the
      event.
     Meaning certainly doesn’t exist prior to the event’s
      depiction in the media.
     Meaning exists within the event.
     Pg. 313.
       Representation Cont’d
 Culture – becomes a primary element in a discussion
  of meaning.
 According to Hall – culture is the way we make sense
  of, give meaning, to the world.
 Meaning arises because of the “shared conceptual
  maps” that we share with others in our culture.
   Culture, then, plays a role in representation, or how we
    make meaning of events.
   You need disclosure, the frameworks of understanding or
    interpretation, to make sense of things.
                  Who We Are
 We learn who we are by how we are represented, or
  constituted in a culture.

 Hall believes that ideas of identity are linked to
  ethnicity, class and gender.
                   Articulation
 Articulation emerges from representation.
 Articulation is the act of speaking clearly.
 Halls definition is joining together – An articulation is
  thus the form of connection that can make a unity of
  two different elements, under certain conditions.

 Meaning must be expressed.
          Idea of Signification
 This is the study of the production of meaning.
 Signifying practices are practices involved in the
  production of meaning. Ex. Media/Talking.

 Absence means something; signifies something as
  much as presence.
   Every image we see is read against what is not there. As
    you determine what something means, you cannot ignore
    what is missing from the defining situation.
   Meanings are not fixed. There are temporary meanings,
    they but can be easily changed.
                     Audience Response
 Meaning does not exist in the actual texts, of culture,
    but rather in how audience members respond to those
    texts based on their position within a cultural context.
                        Cultural Studies Model of Communication

                                 Meaningful Disclosure

Encode                                                               Decode

Source                                                               Receiver

(Ideology,economic                                                (knowledge, stratus

Factors)                                                          gender, race, class)
               Subject Positions
Subject Position   Definition                       Example

Preferred          A reading of the text that     Maxim magazine portrays
                   accepts the dominant ideology. consumerism in a way that
                                                    its readers embrace.
                                                    Readers desire to purchase
                                                    items advertised in the
                                                    magazine and pursue its
                                                    suggested lifestyle.
Negotiated         A neutral reading of the text.   Readers believe that
                                                    Maxim is a humorous
                                                    magazine that is not to
                                                    be taken seriously.
Oppositional       A reading that opposes the       Feminists may believe that
                   dominant ideological message     Maxim promotes the
                   present in the text.             objectification of women
                                                    and leads to discrimination
                                                    and violence against
                                                    women.
                        Textuality
 Is a key distinction between cultural studies and
  rhetorical studies.

 Cultural studies is contextual, where as rhetorical
  studies is textual.

 Cultural studies is not interested solely in the text, but
  in how the text interacts with its cultural, social, political,
  and historical environment, and also how they are
  circulated within a culture.
     Using Both Rhetorical and
          Cultural Studies
Approach              Object of Study



Rhetorical Approach   Symbolism of the memorial including
                      mirror, plaque, and names


Cultural Approach     Visitor attributes, including their
                      clothing and comments while
                      observing the memorial

Combined Approach     Symbolism of the memorial as well as
                      visitor attributes.

				
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posted:5/24/2013
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