Why are context and codes/decoding considered so important in Cultural Studies?

Part One: Answer three of the following short answer questions. Answer them as completely as possible, referring to specific scenes and texts where necessary. For those compulsive, about 200-400 words per answer (that 1-2 pages a piece). 10 points each = 30 pts. possible.

What are the differences between the panopticon and the synopticon? What is the effect of each on society?

 Why do so many people recognize a split between high and low culture? Is low culture the same thing as mass culture and/or popular culture?

Poprishchin in “Diary of a Madman” struggles with becoming alienated from society. Why? What is driving or behind his growing sense of alienation?

Cultural Studies seems to have begun by scholars who came from the middle and working classes. Why? To what were they reacting?

What does it mean to be “captured by ideology”? What, if anything, is problematic about it?

Why are context and codes/decoding considered so important in Cultural Studies?

How is D-503 a textbook example of someone ensnared by the ideology of the dominant? Or is he? Can the One-State really maintain its complete control over people, or is it a practical impossibility?

In “Darmok,” Counsellor Troi suggests that “one wrong word [between two peoples] could lead to tragedy.” What does she mean? What does this reveal about cross-cultural communication?

Part Two: Answer one of the following longer essay questions. Answer them as completely as possible, referring to specific scenes and texts. For those compulsive, aim for 600 words (about three pages). 30 pts. possible.

The study of subjectivity suggests that people lack agency and self-awareness, and are instead an amalgam of others’ subjective ideologies. Discuss. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Postcolonial critical theory argues that Others are not truly seen or heard from; instead we get constructed racial or ethnic identities written by dominant culture (i.e. white culture). Discuss using texts we’ve looked at this term.

Is Cultural Studies important? Why should we learn to pull texts, ideas, theories, and culture itself apart and examine them? What is there to be revealed? Or are we all just goofing off?

NB: All answers should be double-spaced. You are free to use/refer specifically to anything we’ve read, watched, or listened to this term.

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