New terms and ideas that I am being exposed to in the book Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright
] Text [
A term extended by Barthes to include visual media such as photography, film, television, or painting, to suggest that they are constructed on a basis of codes in the same way that language forms a text. Insofar as they are constructions, texts can be broken down into their component parts through the work of analysis. Barthes in particular distinguished texts from works, such as art works, to indicate an active relationship between the writer and reader or artist/producer and viewer. This is because the constructed nature of the text implies that its meaning is produced in relationship to the viewer rather than simply residing in the work itself. To treat an art work as text means that we read it through codes rather than passively absorb or stand in awe of it.
] Aesthetics [
Beliefs and theories about the value, meaning, and interpretations of things.
] Taste [
A value informed by experiences relating to one’s class, cultural background, education and other aspects of identity.
] Connoisseurship [
The image of a connoisseur evokes a “well-bred” person who possesses good taste and knows the difference between a good work of art and a bad one. A connoisseur is considered to be an authority on beauty and aesthetics, who is more capable than others to pass on judgement on the quality of cultural objects.
] Habitus [
A term by Bordieu to describe the unconscious dispositions, strategies of classification, and tendencies that are part of an individual’s sense of taste and preferences for cultural consumption. To him, these systems are derived from one’s social position, educational background and class status. Hence, different social classes have different habituses with distinct tastes and lifestyles.
] High and low culture [
Traditional terms to label ‘different’ kinds of culture.
] False Consciousness [
From Marxist theory. The process by which the real economic imbalances of the dominant social system get hidden and ordinary citizens come to believe in the perfection of the system that oppresses them.
] Interpellation [
A process by which we are constructed by the ideologies that speak to us every day through language and images
] Hegemony [
A concept most associated Gramsci that rethought traditional Marxism theories of ideology away from ideas about false consciousness and passive social subjects. There are two aspects of Gramsci’s hegemony: that dominant ideologies are often offered as common sense and that dominant ideologies are in tension with other forces and hence constantly in flux. The term thus indicates how ideological meaning is an object of struggle rather than an oppressive force that fully dominates subjects from above.
] Counter-hegemony [
Relates to the forces in a given society that work against dominant meaning and power systems, and keep in constant tension and flux those dominant meanings.
] Appropriation [
The act of borrowing, stealing or taking over other’s meanings to one’s own ends.
] Subculture [
Distinct social groups within wider cultural formations that define themselves in opposition to mainstream culture.
] Textual Poaching[
A theory by Michel de Certau to describe the ways that viewers can read and interpret cultural texts, such as film or television, that reworks that text in some way. This might involve rethinking the story of a particular film, or in the case of some fan cultures, writing one’s own version of it. Textual poaching was referred to by Certeau as a process analogous to “inhabiting a text like a rented apartment. In other words, viewers of popular culture can “inhabit” that text by renegotiating its meanings or by creating new cultural products in response to it.
] Cool [
] Trans-coding [
The practice of taking terms and meanings and re-appropriating them to create new meanings. As the term queer, originally derogatory but given new meaning by the gay movement, both as a positive term for identity and as theoretical term indicating a position through which norm is questioned, or queered.