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DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca Cyberspace myths: cyberpunk Digital Culture and Sociology.

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Presentation on theme: "DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca Cyberspace myths: cyberpunk Digital Culture and Sociology."— Presentation transcript:

1 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca Cyberspace myths: cyberpunk Digital Culture and Sociology

2 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca Representation, meaning, stories, myths Storying Cyberspace, by David Bell Cyberpunk (Cavallaro, Gibson) about today break part 1 part 2

3 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca theories of representation 1.Reflective. Meaning lies in the real world and language is a mirror. Mimesis. (what about fiction?) 2.Intentional. Speaker imposes meaning through language. (all private?) 3.Constructionist. Things don’t mean, we construct meaning through representational systems. (Hall, Fornäs, Bell)

4 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca saussure  Language is a system of signs Signifier: form Signified: concept sign related points: -union signifier-signified not fixed (i.e. Black) -importance of sign relations -language has two parts: langue and parole -problems: no pragmatics, too formal, not about how we construct relationship

5 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca from linguistics to semiotics Mythologies, Barthes. Ex. “The Picture of the Young Black Soldier”, what does it mean? From signifier to signified to myth Lévi-Strauss. Primitive people in Brazil. What messages do their practices tell about their culture? Foucault: Discourse as larger units than texts, (i.e. Sexuality). Appear historically and change. Power, the Body. Subject as produced within discourse.

6 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca what does this mean? Advert for laptops: -Signifier -Signified -Myth (cultural themes) -Power structures -The Subject / Identity?

7 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca stories Narrative to make sense of the world Lyotard: The Postmodern Condition (distrust of metanarratives, like the history of human progress, however narratives everywhere, also in science) Psychological use of narrative (ex. McLeod: Narrative and Psychotherapy) Cultural studies: stories of everyday encounters with culture (Mike Michael)

8 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca everything is narrative Marie Laure Ryan

9 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca myth “a story that people have made up in the past in order to explain how the world and mankind began or to justify religious beliefs and social customs” “an untrue idea or explanation; often showed using disapproval” Other: –Campbell –Barthes –Stefik –Urban myths –Something wonderful (an actress) –Modern myths? Collins dictionary

10 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca

11 framing the chapter He looks at representation: stories we tell about cyberspace What do these stories mean? Three kinds of stories about technology (Bell/Hayles): –Material (what they are) –Symbolic (what they mean) –Experiential (what they do) His understanding of myth Barlovian cyberspace: “a way of naming and describing the ways we experience computers and the Internet, in recognition that our experiences sit at the intersection of material and symbolic understandings”. (28) David Bell

12 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca cyberspace stories Material (Computer, Internet, VR, political economy, social characteristics of cyberspace) Symbolic (cyberpunk, pop culture / mainstream) Do these kind of stories blend together (also with our experiential stories)? Let´s do parallels David Bell

13 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca cyberpunk

14 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca cyberpunk Definition Historical account Themes Roots: literary & technological/scientific Ideology: resistance, street culture Relation to virtuality

15 DIGITAL CULTURE AND SOCIOLOGY session 5 – Susana Tosca complementary bibliography  BARTHES, R The Elements of Semiology. London: Cape.  BARTHES, R Mythologies. London: Cape. There is an online version of “Myth Today”, where he introduces his main ideas in:  FOUCAULT, M The Archaeology of Knowledge. London, Tavistock.  FOUCAULT, M Power/Knowledge. Brighton: Harvester.  HALL, S. (ed) Representation. Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices. London: Sage.  RYAN, Marie Laure “On Defining Narrative Media” Abstract available at: m  SAUSSURE, F Course in General Linguistics. London: Peter Owen.  STEFIK, Mark Internet Dreams. Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


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