To prepare for the class ahead, I read through the online lecture and recommended reading. This gave me some insight into the topic of poststructuralism. I found exploring multiple sources for better understanding quite helpful. To better understand what poststructuralism is, I had to know what structuralism is. By my understanding, structuralism was a culturally accepted way of giving meaning to media text. It was the arbitral relationship between signifiers and signified. Structuralism shares the notion that “everything we see is a sign and ‘carries’ a meaning” (Mcdougall, 2012, p.18). Conversely, poststructuralism deviates from this notion and argues that how we give meaning to text “should be a reflection drawn by an individual rather than a generally assigned meaning from the top down” (Bennet, 2005, p. 46).
I particularly enjoyed watching Animating Poststructuralism by Christopher Bolton on youtube. Especially the part where it said, “Poststructuralism is a suspicion of the concise definition” (7:25-7:30). This explains one for the radical ideas that poststructuralism presents as mentioned in the online lesson; that ‘every text has multiple meanings and all meaning is able to be contested’. The thought of this idea poses a challenge to me as a student and eventually a practitioner in the creative media industry, in that whatever I create can easily be subject to various meanings. I am aware that we see and understand life differently but at the same time, I have a specific message in mind whenever I create a media text and knowing that my meaning to this text can easily be lost in a poststructuralist world is a bit daunting.
I must say that this has been a tasking journey because some of the text was somewhat challenging to understand at first read, but then it has challenged me to look into multiple sources for better understanding. What I will do better with subsequent classes is to read beyond the online lessons and recommended text and have a variety of sources to learn from. For the coming week, I will also be focusing on research into subcultures in relation to postmodernism.
Bennett, A. (2005). Culture and everyday life. London: Sage, p.46.
Bolton, C. (2012, November 9). Animating Poststructuralism . Retrieved from https://youtu.be/6a2dLVx8THA?list=PL-of4HBxbY3guEanS5X3aQsH3T58X7YQ0
McDougall, J. (2012). Media studies. London [u.a.]: Routledge, p.18.