Our group report and theory application

PosterĄG Tina Nai-hui Pan at 20:16:26 1/15/98 from proxy.secc.fju.edu.tw

After we reported, I still have some doubts in mind even we tried to "make do" as we discussed about the presentation.
I guess the our attempt to use the theories of consumption in the interpretation of "Goblin Market" is a bit risky though we tried to be creative.
Sometimes it seems to be so arbitrary that I no longer believe that we really understand the theories in the first place. When we brought up the term, "habitus,"
we retrospect to the Victorian age to outline a reading from the stance of structured and controlled audience who can not evade the influence of "habitus." Somehow we use this part of theory
in a counteractive way. For Bourdieu, maybe the attitude of assuming that consumers become what they buy, but we seem to apply the theory to say that a Victorian analysis is a passive one because it is under the discourse of
Victorian ideologies, such as prudishness, convention, doll of house, and women's virtues, etc. I think it might be a bit inappropriate to use Bourdieu in our analysis because it is a stance setting itself in the context of postmodern age, which involves a large proportion of
consumption and advertisement in "consuming" literature. Still, I think missed some important key words as I reported. The issue of identification is the other side of the behavior of consumption. Well, to identify with the morality of the time, the female readers might affirm the
value of the being a obedient and dutiful woman to comply with the social conventions. Again, it is hard to know the real happenings at the time, but doo we really need to know the context of the literary work? Are those reformed prostitutes consumers really? If they were not aware of the fact that
they were consuming are they still active consumers, making appropriations to construct their identities? The same question goes back to the our time: if we are not conscious consumers, can we still make productiv and subversive interpretations and "bricolage?" The prostitutes at the time of C. Rossetti may take the
message of "good and virtuous woman" from the poem as the model of their own, and the same case with the little girls and mothers reading it as a fairy tale. It is simply too complex a question to give a definite answer here; besides, all these readings are only hypothetical propositions.
It happens to me all the time that the more I try to apply the theories the more I find that I misunderstand the theories or they are just to complicated to understand for someone like me, who am only an "amateur" of metaphysical thinking.
That is why I wonder now as a graduate student to-be, I can really read and understand theories and make real use of them. Before senior and junior years, I read/consumer literature as something inspiring and stimulating. I had no scruples as to the correcness in what I say as long as I know how to explain what I think personally.
As a scholar who must be responsible for what s/he says, then I or anyone in the analysis of other's results of research and points of view, it is no longer a vent of self-conceited and self-contained expression. A lot more past theories or reseaches have to be considered for the adequacy of my own interpretations.
I am distracted by my own concerns, but also, the more worries I have, the more difficult is it for me to write a serious paper. I has even been difficult to produce some personal opinion in our reading journals in another course. The same happened to another classmate too. She and I have discussed the cause of the phenomenon, and neither of us had such problems in the sophomore year.
To be more frank, though, both of us are prone to be perfectionists. ??? That is part of reason also.
I find the theories of de Certeau very peculiar, especially the metaphor of "flaneur." And I appreciate your Chinese explanation and outlining. Is the way he transplanted linguistic metaphors the same as that of Barthes? Or they are somewhat different?


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