By John F. Thornton, Katharine Washburn, John Simon
I learn much, yet there's no booklet i've got reread up to Dumbing Down. The editors--Wasburn and Thornton - have selected their twenty-five essays with such care that one rarely minds he's in beautiful well-walked over territory: the assault on zany feminism, the indecipherable project of present secondary institution curricula, the whole give up of English departments of their as soon as noble chore of attempting to train composition, MTV as felt concept, postmodernism, and the now arcane epistemology of as soon as what was once an available field-- the social sciences. To this final box, the essayist and Chair of the dept of Sociology of urban university, urban college of latest York, Steven Goldberg, stocks with the reader what he calls a "haggis of overwritten nonsense" universal to introductory texts:
we want a language that allows us to endlessly and conceptually
negotiate our manner among sameness and opposition,
that allows the popularity of kinship in distinction and distinction
between relatives; a language that encodes recognize for distinction,
really , alterity with out repudiating the underlying
affinity that's the first prerequisite for wisdom (98).
Every essay is as good written as Goldberg's and equivalent to the duty of permitting the objective to blow himself up together with his personal petard. therefore, if the postmodern scene isn't really rather in your liking -- yet you by no means knew rather why-- those twenty-five essayists offers you the compass.
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Extra info for Dumbing Down: Essays on the Strip Mining of American Culture
39 7. Discourses on Gender Bending A. The Celebration of Power: Articulating Fluidity and Transgression. Sofie Van Bauwel 25 So far we have seen that in academic discourse gender bending is considered an act of playing with gender roles, of breaking through the gender boundaries and questioning hegemonic gender discourse. A few scholars have pointed out that especially transvestism ironically reproduces the fixed meanings of masculinity and femininity. A paradigm shift has taken place. Bending gender is a subversive practice stemming from the avant-garde entering popular culture.
The consumerist connotation is not at all far away. The euphoria of gender bending is dangerously entering the discourse of consumerism. Like the grasping of anarchistic street protest as a marketing tool gender bending is incorporated in the market sphere of popular culture. Gender identities are becoming goods to consume. B. Rearticulation: Resistance and the Logics of Incorporation. The resistance of gender benders is seen as related to the concept of bricolage. ”44 Objects, which already carried symbolic meanings, are re-signified in a new context.
As a consensual system of thinking about the world, whereby ideologies are naturalized to appear as common sense by voluntary agreement. Hegemony and power are conceptualised as a matter of persuasion and consent rather than merely as force. Hence power is never secured once and for all. In this paradigm, representation is seen as a key site because of the importance of the power of definition. (Christine Gledhill, “Genre and gender: the case of soap opera” in Representation. Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, ed.