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Theory - Week 25 - Deconstruction

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Nadine Muller

on 1 May 2015

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Transcript of Theory - Week 25 - Deconstruction

Learning Language
What's in a word?
"a method of critical analysis that emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression"
"Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole."
Binary Oppositions
Signs
Structuralism
What do Deconstructionists do?
Deconstruction
Poststructuralism
Ferdinand de Saussure
(1857-1913)
good / evil
original / copy
inside / outside
pure / corrupted
male / female
center / margins
normal / deviant
natural / unnatural
straight / gay
self / other
signifier / signified
“The individual [or subject] is really a product of social and linguistic forces, that is not an essence at all, merely a ‘tissue of textualities’”.
“... maintain that texts do have real meanings underlying their apparent or ‘manifest’ meanings (which often contradict or cancel out one another). These underlying meanings have been distorted, disguised, or repressed for psychological or ideological reasons but can be discovered through poststructuralist readings.”
“Undecidability [...] is never reduced, let alone mastered. Though a deconstructive reading can reveal the incompatible possibilities generated by the text, it is impossible for the reader to decide among them."
Deconstruction
Deconstruction is ...
Language
Meaning
Literature
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