Group Essay——Week 4

Group work

It brought us the discussion on power and gender, given the interconnection and relationships are so strong, we want to examine the nature of power, its validity of attempts to rationalize and interfere with the identity of the beings. We attmepted to offer different perspective to scrutinize the many aspect on the source of power, spectacle, gender and heternomativity, which suggest ways which our behaviour and perception might be constrainted.

Wedding creates discourse using moral coherent ideology and reality. The bride and the game player can through the expectation and imagination for the wedding or the virtual game world to get the emotion satisfaction and self-improvement. According to Kemper, “the emotions consist of actually or imaginatively existing social organizational or social relational conditions: “ when these conditions are met, the desired emotions will flow of themselves, authentically” (Kemper 1981:358). The modern wedding often are rehearsed in advance, and the emotion of the bride seems rehearsed as well, but due to the wedding scene existing the real social organization and social relationship, which makes the bride’s feeling become more real. This also makes the traditional wedding model be re-constructed through the discourse of their choice. Such as the type of wedding, the dress, the location, etc. In the gaming world, there is no restriction of ideology to play the game as well. They do not need to choose the same gender or environment with the real situation. All can be an expectation and imagination for the real world. Although there is the apparent complexity, these activities can be well-rehearsed. Due to they makes themselves be understood through consumption and competition. And according to Mika Aaltola, “the individualization of the sufferer in modern, secular human rights discourse points to an important watershed in the history of sufferer construction. (Mika Aaltola 2009:21) In the other words, the scene and process of the wedding and gaming world are designed through collect the memory and culture. It relates the history and the tradition as well as the modern. Therefore, the wedding and the gaming world can be understood a type of virtual imagination, where associating with social space and the spectacle.

Both speakers examined how social and cultural practice reinforce heterosexuality and the roles of gender, and expose the binary opposition of them.  Broekhuizen(2013) has a radical deconstruction of female and feminity, pointing out that bridal beauty is the perfomance to gain their own meaning through discourse of identity. While Sudén(2013) argues that lesbian as a process of becoming, which seeks to end power imbalances and oppression on the power structure based on intersection identity. She examined the construction of feminity with its interaction with techonology and their desires, and argues that feminity need not to perform its opposite, using the characteristic of gender spectrum in the character’s apperance as an demonstration(e.g. male feminity or female masculinity), suggesting that ideologies like hegemonic straight feminity and masculintity is associating with virtual spaces like WOW, and expanded Freud’s concept of desire, pointing out that women need to abandon feminity to desire and to free themselves from the dependence on men. The two speakers demonstrated Butler(1990)’s poststructuralism approach on recognizing women or men as individuals to choose and perform their identity and gender, and as a matter of social relationship. Both suggested that the identity of ‘women’ is regulated and produced through discourse and as dependant social construction. Which offers a radical examination on body, identity and power, where three of them aren’t fixed and further illustrated Foucault’s notions that gender is the predominant cultural agent which operates on the being, thus producing the opposing concepts of masculinity/femininity and the identities of heterosexuality/homosexuality. “Discourse can be both an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling-block, a point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy”(Foucault, 1997: 178).

Furthermore, the two speakers displayed Foucault’s discursive mechanism of subjectivation and the act of othering(pathology), through the reconstruction and restraint on feminity or its behaviour. Sudén(2013) explained her own queer desire as a female being and how ‘non-normative’ female behaviour being denaturalized and identified as queer, showing the embedded pathology and ideologies of feminity and straight femintiy, and in fact is an act of othering(which Sudén described as the tool for verbal abuse). While Broekhuizen(2013) explored the binary subjectivity and professionalism on ‘good’ bride, bridal beauty, and their self-modification based on the heterosexual expectation and social convention. Both corresponded with Foucault’s mechanism of the subjectivation, which he perceived power can be resisted and so does the identities and its knowledge, hence, the act of normalization and othering, rationalizing the imperial and ‘acceptable’ discourse or norms(heteronormativity).

Additionally, Broekhuizen(2013) developed further on the function of wedding dress as a regulated presentation of one’s social class. Again adapting foucault’s model, it creates the discourse that produce discipline through self-servaillance and modification, regulating and maintaining the heterosexual and class structure(superstructure). Further, It correlated with Gramsci(1921: 12)’s hegemony, which groups that shared interests manifest certain ideologies and express them as the nucleus of culture.

Although both speakers didn’t scrutinzied on the class struggle or bourgeoisie, they fully exemplified Gramsci(1921: 12)’s cultural hegemony that needs to be preceded and achieved first, which helped us to understand the notions of ideology and culture. Where the recognition of the domination and subordination is still being seen as the ‘whole’ process, exercising power and the means to bring power relation into beings, the imperial discourse is share and allied.

Bryan Turner’s “Body Practices”

It is interesting to note that there is a major turn to incorporating the image of the social actor as an embodied being into social analysis. This has inspired fresh approaches to such topics as the sociology of medicine (Turner, 1987, 1992) arguing that the modification on the male/female body has to deal with its perception. Sudén(2013) demonstrated this idea with the discussion of the avatars’ apperance, behaviour and restrictions. She suggested the potential to develop queer desrie in the field with the option to have female mascualinity/male feminity. While Broekhuizen(2013) argues the self-modification(bridal beauty) are based on the socailly constructed feminity. Both dealt with the perception that creats reconstructed both identity.


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