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Cultural Studies: What is Subjectivity? Essay

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Subjectivity is a major aspect in every day life. It happens every second of the day, people are subjective and they have no idea that they are being that way. It comes naturally from people’s influences because it is the world we live in today. Subjectivity is culturally constructed rather that innate and naturally occurring, this will be discussed in depth through examples within performance/performativity and the examples used throughout the discussion of the importance of habitus. In the world we live in today, people are influenced by their surroundings. A major influence on the world is the media. This is why poststructuralist theorists believe that subjectivity is culturally constructed. Although there is no essential link between questions of subjectivity and questions of subordination and power, and certainly there is a great distribute of work within anthropology that closely explores subjectivity as a somewhat neutral arena of analysis, it will also be explored of how and why there is a close linkage between subjectivity and power. Subjectivity has now become an important aspect of life and it is expected from everyone to be subjective towards other people. People have different opinions because not everyone was raised the same, and they were brought up with the same surroundings or influences.

Performance and performativity are completely different concepts in terms of cultural studies, they both play a major role in people’s lives and how it constructs them to become subjective throughout their lives. There are four key ways to examine ‘to perform’ which are: being, doing, showing doing and explaining showing doing. Being is existence itself, doing is action, its known to be always in flux, always changing, showing d...


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...second important idea introduced by Bourdieu is that of ‘capital’, which is extended further than the notion of material benefits to capital that may be social, cultural or symbolic. These forms of capital are just as important, and can be built up and transferred from one arena to another Cultural capital and the means when it is created or transferred from other types. Capital performs a main role in societal power relations, as this gives the way for a non-economic form of power and hierarchy, as classes differentiate themselves through taste. The concept of habitus yields an additional lively theory of embodiment central to a feminist knowledge of gender individuality as a stable but not unchallengeable norm. The concept of the `field' creates a more distinguished analysis of the social background in which the automatic alteration of gender identity develops.





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