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Ideographs

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by

Heather Woods

on 9 April 2015

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Transcript of Ideographs

the ideograph is
found in society's collective vocabulary
Ideology-Check In
what is it and why does it matter?

in pairs:
brainstorm characteristics of ideology
whats the relationship between ideology, power, and/or class?
Ideology & The Ideograph
...ideology in practice
Defining
the ideograph
Can images be ideographs?
Some examples
of ideographs
Next week...
poststructualism
READ AND BRING TO CLASS:
Lye, “Some Post-Structural Assumptions” and *Barthes, “The Death of the Author”

Protip: give yourself some extra time to read

Sara Hayden
Revitalizing the Debate between <Life> and <Choice>
Ideographs
the intersection between
rhetoric and ideology

intro'd by Michael Calvin McGee-1980

"vocabulary of concepts that function as guides, warrants, reasons, or excuses for behavior and belief." (McGee, 6)
"Ideology in practice is a political language, preserved in documents, with the capacity to dictate decision and control public belief and behavior." (McGee, qtd by Jasinski)
What McGee was
interested in
how can/does political language influence ppl? how does ideology function in practice?
jasinski: "What is the substance of political language? How does political language function as a mechanism of social control?" (308)

how do ideographs gain significance, how do they circulate, what is their power, and IN WHAT CONTEXT(S)?
no innate, "fundamental meaning" (jasinski).
instead, ideographs "reside" in texts/discourses that are circulated historically (through time).
they accumulate meaning over time
they are both empty and very full signifiers
"Ideographs are...those recurrent words, labels, or expression that guide and warrant behavior and belief." (jasinski, 309)
impart value (and we should ask how/what)
Characteristics
of the ideograph
abstracted (or: they're abstractions) and condensed
no clear/singular/unique meaning or referent, although they appear to have one (ideology!)
"[shape] political consciousness" / "exert control" (jasinski, 309)
the subject of "discursive conflict" (and therefore, are historical/situated! see jasinski 310)
"an ordinary-language term found in political discourse. It is a high-order abstraction representing
collective commitment
to a particular but equivocal and
ill-defined
normative goal." (McGee, qtd. By Jasinski)
the ideograph is
hardly ever questioned
...regarding legitimacy
...or meaning

remember, the 'trick' of ideology is to appear
invisible
,
and natural
and normal
and historical
just the way things are

why does this matter?
and generates collective commitment
the ideograph is
meaning depends on use and context
no "fundamental" meaning, but gains "baggage" over time.
flexible and elastic
<freedom>
<liberty>
<justice>
<property>
<privacy>
<terrorism>
<man>
<woman>
<choice>
<life>
The debate over reproductive rights, ideographs, images associated with them

Can crystallized ideographs be revitalized?
Full transcript