Use the concepts and theories from ONE lecture topic (see the list below) to
analyze ONE cultural object, text or practice of your own choice (see the list below for examples).To help you analyze the cultural object, text or practice think about the following questions:
What might be the typical or “normal” meaning surrounding a particular cultural object, text or practice?
How might that meaning be changed by applying the theory you have chosen?
How do the concepts and theories you have chosen help you think differently about cultural texts, objects or practices in general?
What is the relationship between the cultural object, text or practice and the society in which it is situated?
When you use a theory to analyze the object, text or practice, consider how it might make you think differently about the cultural context in which that object, text or practice comes to have meaning.
Lecture Topics: Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, Sex & Sexuality, Bodies and
Embodiment, Empire & Globalisation.
Cultural Texts, Objects or Practices (these are examples only, you can choose another if you wish):
Texts can include things like: films, books, T.V. shows, a documentary, a written text, print or T.V. advertising, comic strips, a photograph, a website, etc.
Objects can include things like: a building, a painting, a sculpture, a garden, a piece of technology, etc.
A cultural practice can include things such as: drinking tea, going to the movies, cooking dinner, housework, home renovation, tattooing, shopping, café culture, etc.
You must refer to at least two of the unit”s readings in your essay. You can also refer to other scholarly readings, if you wish.
When analyzing the cultural object, text, or practice DO NOT simply reiterate the plot, or describe the object or practice. Rather, use a scene or two (in a film), or a passage or two (in a book), which you think particularly appropriate. If you are analyzing an object or a practice, briefly describe the object or practice, but do so only in order to develop your analysis. You should explain the key concepts or theories you have chosen and why you have chosen them to analyze the text. To put it another way: Be careful not to write an essay that becomes solely a description of the object, text or practice. Rather, any description should very briefly contextualise the text, object or practice you have chosen, in relation to your argument about how the topic or theory has helped you understand that object, text or practice.
If you are analyzing a print advertisement or document, or a picture of some sort, or any kind of written text, please attach the images or the excerpts from the text you are focusing on (you can attach them to the back of your essay). These are not included in your essay”s word count. If you are analyzing a website, please include the website address in your essay and the date on which you accessed it. While all texts should be briefly described at the same time that your analysis takes place, this is especially important for texts such as a film, film scenes or television advertisement, where you cannot attach an image to your essay.
Apply the Harvard Reference system. See guide in the “Extra Resources for Academic Writing” folder.
Analysis: To analyze a text, object, or practice means to use concepts and theories to explain and evaluate that text, object or practice. Analysis reveals how a text makes meaning and how it relates to the specific contexts (historical, political, social and cultural) in which it appears. Analysis always involves putting together a coherent and clear argument of your own about the thing you have chosen. An argument means constructing clear and logical reasons why you have reached certain conclusions. These should be based in relevant concepts and theories (as they have been discussed in the course of the unit) and a close scrutiny of the text, object or practice you have chosen.
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