[Popular culture is] a profoundly mythic … theatre of popular desires, a theatre of popular fantasies …where we discover and play with the identifications of ourselves, where we are imagined, where we are represented, not only to our audiences … but to ourselves.
The Hard Road To Renewal: Thatcherism And The Crisis Of The Left (1988)
by Stuart Hall
The future belongs to the impure…to those who are ready to take in a bit of the other, as well as being what they themselves are.
Stuart Hall, “Subjects in History: Making Diasporic Identities”, The House That Race Built.
wo.11.9.’13 “Perspectives I&II”
Stuart Hall (1932) - Cultural Theorist
Hall says that there are three different positions audiences (receivers) take in order to decode the meaning within cultural texts, particularly televisual discourses. They are the dominant-hegemonic position, the negotiated position and the oppositional position.
- Hegemonic: Viewer is located within dominant point of view. Little misunderstanding, miscommunication, while sender and receiver are working under same rule set, assumptions and cultural biases. Best position that allow the transmission of ideas to be understood the best, despite certain frictions that may occur due to class structure and power.
- Negotiated: Viewer is able to decode the sender’s message within context of dominant culture and societal views. Messages are largely understood in a different sense than the hegemonic. Receivers in negotiated position are not necessarily working within the hegemonic viewpoint, but are familiar enough with dominant society to be able to adequately decode cultural texts in an abstract sense.
- Oppositional: Viewer is capable of decoding the message in the way it was intended to be decoded, but based on their own societal beliefs, often sees another, unintended meaning within the message.
Identities are formed at the unstable point where personal lives meet the narrative of history. Identity is an ever-unfinished conversation.