Cultural Discourse (cultural + discourse)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Rendering the World Unsafe: ,Vulnerability' as Western Discourse

DISASTERS, Issue 1 2001
Gregory Bankoff
Disasters seem destined to be major issues of academic enquiry in the new century if for no other reason than that they are inseparably linked to questions of environmental conservation, resource depletion and migration patterns in an increasingly globalised world. Unfortunately, inadequate attention has been directed at considering the historical roots of the discursive framework within which hazard is generally presented, and how that might reflect particular cultural values to do with the way in which certain regions or zones of the world are usually imagined. This paper argues that tropicality, development and vulnerability form part of one and the same essentialising and generalising cultural discourse that denigrates large regions of world as disease-ridden, poverty-stricken and disaster-prone. [source]

Mortuary Rituals in Japan: The Hegemony of Tradition and the Motivations of Individuals

ETHOS, Issue 3 2006
Yohko Tsuji
Despite rapid social change, traditional mortuary rituals persist in contemporary Japan, and most Japanese ascribe their continuous compliance with tradition to cultural hegemony. In this article, I explore various other motivational forces behind their actions and illustrates how external pressures and individuals' internal motivations are intricately intertwined to generate human behavior. To do so, I consider the social and personal significance of Japanese funerals, examining rituals not only as an embodiment of sociocultural order but also as a culturally prescribed means to legitimize individuals' actions and define their identity. I also demonstrate the multiplicity and fluidity of cultural discourse and the malleability of tradition as well as individuals' active roles in perpetuating and altering mortuary tradition. Primary data were gathered from participant-observation research in Japan since 1988. [funerals, gift exchange, culture and the individual, motivations, identity, Japan] [source]

Tracing Differentiation in Gendered Leadership: An Analysis of Differences in Gender Composition in Top Management in Business, Politics and the Civil Service

Lis Højgaard
The aim of this article is to discuss the relationship between the gendering of leadership positions and sector-specific structures within politics, business and the civil service in Denmark in the context of differences between the Nordic countries and other western countries. The analysis is based on data from a survey of top male and female leaders within the three sectors. The theoretical point of departure of this article is constructivist. It looks at gender as constituted by actions in social space, orchestrated by structural processes and a symbolic order of gender. This constitutes a cultural discourse on gender reflected in gender conventions in society and in a range of possibilities of gender positioning. Expressions of this are discussed in the analysis of the patterns of difference in structural conditions for women and men in leadership positions to be found within the three sectors. The structural conditions encompass access conditions and conditions for gendered positioning and are analysed on the basis of data on social background, education, career course, family, children and distribution of housework. The analysis shows that there is a correlation between gender composition of leadership and possibilities of gendered positioning within a sector. The results are finally discussed as possible expressions of an egalitarian culture. [source]

Accommodation and resistance to the dominant cultural discourse on psychiatric mental health: oral history accounts of family members

Geertje Boschma
Oral history makes a critical contribution in articulating the perspectives of people often overlooked in histories written from the standpoint of dominating class, gender, ethnic or professional groups. Using three interrelated approaches , life stories, oral history, and narrative analysis , this paper analyzes family responses to psychiatric care and mental illness in oral history interviews with family members who experienced mental illness themselves or within their family between 1930 and 1975. Interviews with three family members in Alberta, Canada are the primary focus. These stories provide an important avenue to understand the meaning and transformations of mental health-care from the point of view of families. Family members' stories reveal contradictory responses to the dominant cultural discourse. Using a performative framework of interpretation, the narratives reveal a complex interplay between medical, social and cultural conceptions of mental illness, deepening our understanding of its meaning. The history of mental health-care can be substantially enriched by the analysis of family members' stories, not only revealing the constructed nature of mental illness, but also illustrating the family as a mediating context in which the meaning of mental illness is negotiated. [source]

Sustainable farmland management as political and cultural discourse

First page of article [source]

The Artist in Society: Understandings, Expectations, and Curriculum Implications

ABSTRACT Disparate and contradicting assumptions about culture play a significant role in how the artist is constructed in the public imagination. These assumptions have important implications for how young artists should be educated and for the curriculum of artistic education. In this article, I theorize three conceptions of the role of the artist in society and the challenge they present for artistic education. I discuss three theoretical conceptions: the artist as Cultural "Civilizer," the artist as "Border Crosser," and the artist as "Representator." Although markedly different, these three conceptions all view the artist as an agent playing an active role in society, or a type of "cultural worker." I argue that these different views of the artist are grounded on different cultural discourses, that each of these discourses constructs the artist as an individual in a particular way, and that each view of the artist corresponds to specific institutions that mediate the role of the artist in society. Furthermore, I suggest the implications that each of these views has for the curriculum of artistic education and the preparation of cultural workers. I suggest that a contemporary artistic education grounded on these views should affirm the role of the artist in the public sphere of a democratic society. [source]

"We Don't Want No Haole Buttholes in Our Stories": Local Girls Reading the Baby-Sitters Club Books in Hawai,i

Donna J. Grace
This study investigates the place of popular cultural texts in the construction of the gendered and cultural subjectivities of seven eight-year-old girls growing up in Hawai,i. Within the context of weekly literature circles held over a period of four months, Grace and Lum sought to understand how these young "local" girls engaged with a book series privileging white, middle-class, mainland values, and how they located themselves within dominant ideologies related to race, culture, and gender. Using qualitative methods, the following questions were addressed: (1) In what ways did the girls identify with particular storylines, subject positions, and views of the world? (2) Were dominant messages accommodated, negotiated, or resisted? (3) What pleasures were produced and experienced in the reading? (4) How were meanings shaped and mediated by "local" culture and the reader's personal histories? The findings suggest that rather than being manipulated by the textual images of femininity, suburban living, and western notions of beauty, the girls had alternative social and cultural discourses with which to negotiate and resist them. These discourses related to notions of the family; gender relations; peer friendships and rivalry; perceptions of beauty; and cultural identity. The findings suggest the importance of local context in understanding textual readings and interpretations. [source]

The Making and Unmaking of Body Problems in Seventeen Magazine, 1992,2003

Leslie Winfield Ballentine
This interpretive study explored body-related content Seventeen magazine, a fashion and beauty magazine for adolescent girls, from 1992 to 2003 (inclusive). The authors' work was guided by symbolic convergence theory, which illuminates how rhetorical visions within media can contribute to audience perceptions of reality. Analyses revealed two main rhetorical visions within Seventeen: (1) the making of body problems and (2) the unmaking of body problems. Content related to Rhetorical Vision 1 simultaneously constructed a narrow constellation of body characteristics as ideal and problematized bodies that deviated from this ideal. Content related to Rhetorical Vision 2 provided three different mechanisms for "dealing with" body problems: (a) controlling the body through bodywork regimens, (b) controlling the body through consumption, and (c) staging resistance against dominant cultural discourses about the body (e.g., the thin ideal). Findings suggest that rhetorical visions presented within Seventeen may send mixed messages to adolescents about their bodies. [source]

The Performance of Desire: Gender and Sexual Negotiation in Long-Term Marriages

Sinikka Elliott
We integrate theoretical traditions on the social construction of gender, heterosexuality, and marriage with research and theory on emotion work to guide a qualitative investigation of how married people understand and experience sex in marriage. Results, based on 62 in-depth interviews, indicate that married men and women tend to believe that sex is integral to a good marriage and that men are more sexual than women. Moreover, husbands and wives commonly experience conflict around sex and undertake emotion work to manage their own and their spouse's feelings about sex. We refer to this emotion work as "performing desire" and show how it is linked to gendered experiences in marriage and to competing cultural discourses around gender, heterosexuality, and marriage. [source]

South Africa's Current Transition in Temporal and Spatial Context

ANTIPODE, Issue 2 2000
Alan Leater
This article analyses South Africa's current postapartheid transition in the light of earlier transformations of its social and economic order. The first of these prior transformations is the abolition of slavery and the shift to liberal capitalism, which took place in the early nineteenth century. The second is the rapid industrialization of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Each of these transformations, as well as the current transition, is explained as being partly the outcome of a broad shift in capitalist practice, innovated in the metropoles of the global economy. Due to South Africa's situation within global economic networks, each of these shifts, at different times, raised the threat of a dislocation in South Africa's prevailing social order. However, each prior transformation and, it will be argued, the current transition, has been ,managed' by established elites so as to ensure minimal change to the overall distribution of privilege. This conservative ,management' of shifts in capitalist practice, it is suggested, has been facilitated through South African elites' historic engagement with cultural discourses circulating across a global terrain. In this article then, contemporary South Africa is located within both material and discursive networks which have historically influenced the country's distribution of privilege. [source]