Critical Review of Two Articles with the Concept of Interpellation

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When creating the title for their book, which is dedicated to Stuart Hall, perhaps Paul Gilroy, Lawrence Grossberg and Angela McRobbie did not know that they not only found an exact citation to summarise all the works of this influencing cultural theorists, but also proposed the best phrase to describe Cultural Studies, that is "without guarantee". Indeed, Cultural Studies devotes itself to questioning knowledge "guaranteed" to be true in society and more important, to continuously raising debates as its fundamental method to avoid any "guaranteed" answer. As a central concept of Cultural Studies, "interpellation" precisely reflects those features. First proposed by Louis Althusser in his essay "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation)" (1971), "interpellation" was defined as a process through which concrete individuals are addressed by ideology and then are produced as subjects. Since Althusser referred to churches, schools, family, communications, to name only a few, as a set of institutions practicing this function of ideology, he challenged social norms which seem to "naturally" come to us from those familiar environments. Although the concept has opened a new epoch in the research of identity, it has still subjected to several critical discussions for further developments. Through their selected works below, Mladen Dolar and John Law contributes to those debates two points of view on the ways in which interpellation is operated within our society and within each individual.

The essay "Beyond Interpellation" (1993) of Mladen Dolar is largely based on his obsession of "a clean cut which can be followed on different levels" (p.75) existing in Althusserian theory. Dolar (1993) recognises this ...

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... 6(2), pp.75-96.

Foucault, M., 1972. The Archeology of Knowledge. New York: Pantheon.

Hall, S., 1981. "The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media". In G. Bridges and R. Brunt, eds. 1987, Silver Linings, London: Lawrence & Wishart.

Larrain, J., 1991. Stuart Hall and the Marxist Concept of Ideology. In D., Morley & K. Chen, eds. 2007, Stuart Hall - Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, USA & Canada: Routledge.

Law, J., 2000. 'On the Subject of the Object: Narrative, Technology, and Interpellation". Configurations, 8(1), pp. 1-29.

Pêcheux, M., 1975, Les vérités de La Palice, Paris: Maspero.

Sawyer, Keith R., 2002. "A Discourse on Discourse: An Archaeological History of an Intellectual Concept". Cultural Studies, 16 (3), pp. 433–456.

Weedon, C., 2004. Identity and Culture: Narratives of Difference and Belonging. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

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