Making Meanings
Genre: General Awareness

Find a text that presents a critique of ideological (naturalized or common-sense)understandings of social relations, and present an analysis (interpretation and evaluation) of that critique.

About the Book

Making Meanings is a humanities foundation unit that explore the purposes and possibilities of critigue today in realtion to a range of cultural institutions and practices.

? How did you react to the text the first time you encountered it?

? What mode of critique does the text deploy? Is it a “straight” critique (critical argument), or is it more “playful” (satire, irony, parody) or “conceptually creative” (theoretical speculation, conceptual art)?

? What ideological (naturalized or common sensical) idea or practice is the text seeking to challenge or critique? What evidence or examples can be given to show that this idea is in fact widely taken for granted? What makes this idea or practice ideological — an example of “our most sure ways of knowing, doing and thinking” (see “What Is Critique?” from Topic 1.3)?

? What specific critical points (or effects) does the text present? How, specifically, does it make these points/effects?

? What alternative viewpoint/position is offered or implied in place of the naturalized understanding that is being challenged by the critique? Does the critique go beyond “fault-finding, negative evaluation, legitimate rejection or condemnation” (see “What Is Critique?”)?

? How effective or successful is the critique? What are the conceptual, political or existential implications of the critique? How does the critique make you think differently about the ideas being challenged?

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