2600 Day 21
Like I said, Deconstruction theory wants to decenter what seem like natural ideological assumptions and harmful binaries that people don't question or analyze enough.
It leads to more meaning, says Lee. It leads to more Chaos, say many students. Speaking of Chaos, even the sciences think about Chaos in terms of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, and Chaos Theory.
Logocentrism and the transendental signified/r (that absolute Thing/Truth which is out of play) is often the way culture (Lacan's The Symbolic Order) wants us to believe about ideology. Ideology is natural, but we've already learned from Marxists that socioeconomic ideologies are harmful and not even natural. This is done by flipping the binary
bourgoeisie vs. proletariate
proletariate vs. bourgoeisie
But Marxist, and 2nd Wave Feminism, usually stay within the binaries rather than finding a third term, or showing that the entire binary is problematic. One group that finds another 3rd (4th, 10th infinite) way out of the gender binary are Genderqueer folks/theorists which doesn't just mean sexless or androgenous folks any more (see Queer Theory lectures below).
Marxists often complain that Deconstruction theory doesn't do anything, isn't activist, but Generqueer folk are a good example of deconstructive activists. Then there's 3rd Wave Feminism...
Why do so many radical movements seem to fail? They get sucked back into the binaries they once faught. New Historicist/Cultural Critic Michel Foucault talks about how power circulates from the powerful to the powerless and back again--so a group of Black Power folks prostesting the white Man find themselves creating yet more hierarchical binaries (you aren't black enough, you aren't poor enough).
--Foucault says power circulates freely in all directions (think of a three dimensional web of signifiers), and culture, history, and discourse ; power, and the Panopticon
--Circulation of Powerand other definitions by Dino Felluga
--See my diagram of power circulating between
Webs of signifiers, and traces of meaning through "Differance"
Revisionist History (in the New Historicism lecture) and John Oliver on Jon Stewart--Where is the America we grew up with?...And the International Jew...
Blake's "Little Black Boy" (how does it set up a binary? how does it "deconstruct" that binary? how does it support that binary? how can we think about the culture Blake wrote the poem from within?)
--New Historicist and Cultural Criticism practice with texts.Quiz 6/7...
Cultural Criticism: Michael Berube's Public Access essay "Just the Fax, Ma’am: Or, Postmodernism’s Journey to Decenter" (this is from Google books); how innovative, rebellious movements are co-opted by the powers that be