Deconstruction happens when we show how something that seemed absolute and natural is not absolute and natural—often seen by using the Other POV--this is done by deconstructing binaries, or showing how they deconstruct themselves





Native American Deconstruction (the Other POV)

The Explorer POV

(American Imperialists according to the Native POV)

Opening the west (vs a closed west or closed off territory, outside of culture and control)

“American Imperialists” to denote American explorers and US Army, and anyone who was moving west;
Andrew Jackson=villain, murderer
Going native is negative
Red neck meant someone closer to native American or linked to the earth—dirty, backward, southern, ignorant, uneducated

Heros—Lewis and Clark…and sometimes Sacajawea
Pioneers—seen positively, innovative, progressive,

Manifest Destiny: an ideology that it’s white man’s God given right to move West and claim it as theirs because of course the white man is superior to all other lesser humans

Tame the west
Discover (because NOTHING was there before white people came over)


Deconstruction might ask: How do the smallest universals fall apart upon scrutiny?
Deconstruction theory looks at all the possible signifiers surrounding a supposedly natural binary in order to show that it is really ideological…
1 % vs. 99%
1%, when on top of the hierarchy=job creation, innovation, American dream,
99% when viewed on the bottom=red necks, takers, welfare “queens” or whores, lazy, irresponsible, parasitic, jealous of wealth
Steps in deconstruction practice:

  1. Choose a POV that has long been part of your belief system. Can you then turn it into a binary? Or a hierarchy—where one of the signifiers is on top or superior, and the other signifier is vilified or ignored?
  2. Flip the hierarchy by putting the vilified signifier on top, and vilifying or ignoring the previously superior signifier—shows the problem with the binary, the unfairness of it, the falseness of it
  3. Ultimately if you end up in yet another constructed binary, you can take it a step further--how does each binary fall apart or take itself apart? Give scrutiny to places where multiple POV's or webs of signifiers can be complexly associated with all kinds of POV’s (the opposite of looking to limit the chaos with the smallest universal, deconstruction theory tries to complexify)