Exercise 1.2

Objective: to better understand “The Question of Cultural Identity” by identifying main ideas, connections, and rhetorical patterns in Sections 2 through 4 of the essay.

Estimated time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Due by 9:00 a.m. Monday, February 3rd

Note: As we discussed in class, I am aware that Hall’s text is dense and may seem difficult to you. However, as you will learn over the next few weeks, writing about a difficult text is the most effective way to understand it. Remember that our purpose in reading is to respond to the ideas it explores, not necessarily to understand every minute detail. Once you have completed the reading the text, it will make more sense to you—I promise. Just keep reading.

Part 1—Reading and Annotation

  1. Re-read the Reading (and Writing) for Conversation writing guide in your course pack.
  2. Carefully read the Identifying Intellectual or Interpretive Problems writing guide in your course pack.
  3. Using strategies for close, critical reading that we discussed in class Wednesday, carefully read and annotate Sections 2 through 4 in “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Write down ideas and questions that you have in response to specific parts of these sections. Make note of any connections you notice between the sections.

Part 2—Writing

Using the connections you noted when you were reading Sections 2 through 4, how does Hall develop the concepts of the three identity subjects explored in Section 1? What elements of the rhetorical situation of the text can you identify? How do those function to help Hall develop his analysis? Be as specific as possible and include page numbers. Post your response below as a COMMENT to this post.

Part 3—Journal 1.2

Reflect on how reading for conversation differs from reading solely for content and memorization. How did that change your reading practices as you read these two sections?

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24 thoughts on “Exercise 1.2

  1. As I was reading “The Question of Cultural Identity” sections 2-4, I noticed many connections made by Hall which relate back to his statement of having three concepts of identity. Within the first section Hall states the outline to Cultural identity by putting it into three concepts, Enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and post-modern subject (Page 597). These three subjects are later explained by a connection made in sections 2-4. Hall begins to answer how Cultural Identity can be interpreted and seen in many variations due to how every identity is different. “Are characterized by ‘difference’; they are cut through by different social divisions and social antagonisms which produce a variety og different ‘subject positions’ – i.e. identities- for individuals(Page 600).” He also begins to state how identity is formed throughout time and takes different processes to occur and is not just born within a person. This shows how as each chapter goes further Hall describes the variations that can happen within the concepts of identity. Hall also uses other peoples theories/opinions on Identity by people like Foucault and more in order to conjure up his own conclusions based on other peoples insight on the vast topic. This function helps Hall to develop his analysis because he is able to show the readers his steps that led to his final analysis. For example Stuart Hall disagreed with Foucualt because his opinion on identity was quite restricting, in certain circumstances. And due to that Hall was able to conclude that identity has many layers and is not a simple topic due to its differences.

  2. In the first section of “ Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Society”, Hall introduces three main concepts that form the framework for our analysis of ‘Identity’:

    1)The Enlightenment
    2)The sociological aspect
    3)The postmodern theory

    He builds on these concepts through sections 2-4, further elaborating and simultaneously breaking down the transformations ‘Identity’ has gone through that has now, eventually lead to a “crisis of identity”.

    Section 2 presents the idea of the “changing conceptions of the human subject” that has “shaped” the way we perceive identity today. The post-modern theory went through three pivotal changes, due to three corresponding philosophers. The Enlightenment highlighted the idea that identity was “singular, distinctive, unique” and was not influenced by external forces. Raymond Williams notes how major movements of western culture and thought allowed an individual to transcend the limitations of religion and what was divinely ordained, to form their own identity, giving way to Rene Descartes to establish his theory of “dualism”. This theory states that mental thoughts cause physical reactions and vice versa. Another critical contribution was made by John Locke who defined the processes and experiences a person has to go through to build their own identity. Hence, these three postmodern theories suggest that personality or identity is indeed influenced by external forces. These external forces not only include globalization and marxism but our identity is also influenced by what we are exposed to subconsciously. These influences result in the “de-centering” of identity as the sociological aspect has a great effect on its development.

    This idea connects in the third section when Hall expands the influence of societies into the generalization of national identities that encompasses political dynamics, money, race, feminism and finally boils down to culture. Every person represents a nation, thus representing a generalization of the people of that nation. This aspect of identity that includes traditions, histories, literature, and language is something that we are born with and are timeless. As Hall stated in the second section, this is what we adapt subconsciously. Tradition is what remains consistent in our national identities. These sociological aspects of our national narrative, however, give rise to many conflicts. Hall deconstructs national culture and proposes the idea that while national identity ‘unites’ it also constricts and emphasizes ‘differences’. Globalization resulted in the interconnectedness between people as well as the different cultures of the world. What we come to realize is that there are communities who oppose this as they feel the need to defend their own culture and do not allow it to be influenced by other cultures. Some cultures even deem themselves superior to others and claim that individualization is ‘descending’. They fail to realize that this restricts the growth of identity and a person as a whole.

    Moreover, in section 4 Hall explains that the narrative a nation is associated with becomes a stereotype for other nations, this is what he calls, “Imagined communities”. The best example of this, in my opinion, is given in Edward W Said’s book “Orientalism” (1978) that portrays the West’s patronizing view of the East as being ‘The other’: exotic and barbaric that needed to civilized. Differences also arise within communities as well, because of class structure, racism, and sexism. As Hall says, “Each movement appeals[ed] to the social identity of its supporters.” We only align our identities with what we deem important. He stresses this by explaining the incident of Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas and how the community was split and were in a conflict about whom to support.

    What is important in the case of globalization, however, is ‘representation’ every culture has across the world. While multiple aspects of a culture can be lost in translation other things can be adopted into other cultures that are beneficial to all communities, such as art, architecture, and technology: ‘Cultural homogenization’. This homogenization results in identity ‘hybrids’ and stresses Hall’s main argument that identity is ever-evolving and never fixed.

  3. Hall develops the concepts of the three identity subjects as stated in 1.1 (page 597) the “Three Concepts of Identity”: enlightenment subject, sociological subject and post-modern subject. In section 2 it goes deep into the “crisis of identity” of the “Enlightenment subject” the “I think, therefore I am” subject. (page 606) and who it is being de-centralized. In section 3 it goes deep into the “sociological subject” and again how it is being fragmented or dislocated (page 611). Finally, in section 4 the “Post-modern” subject in explored much more deeply and how globalizing weaken or undermine the forms of cultural identity. I very much identified with the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (page 608) when he said “we are not in any absolute sense the “authors” of the statement we make or of the meaning we express in language because language is a social, not an individual system. It pre-exists us. We cannot in any simple sense be it authors. To speak a language is not only to express our innermost, original thoughts. This reminded me of my favorite book 1984 where the people oppressed and could not express themselves because of “new speak” which made it impossible for them to express themselves they did not have the words they needed to truly be free or when I original thought in Spanish and now I only think in English. This function to frame our thinking for us to talk about the different points of view. As Hall stated it all about the conversation. A base where we can talk, whether we agree or disagree, whether the opinion was popular or not.

    • Part 3—Journal 1.2
      Reading for content or memorization has been all I known. Reading for conversation has been hard and I don’t think I am even close to mastering it. I feel it is much more difficult to read and pause and annotate my opinion. It takes practice to think purposefully about what I just read and formulate an opinion or state a question to start a conversation. It is definitely something that takes a lot of practice. Getting through the first couple of pages was very slow at first and then it became a little easier but I am nowhere near mastery. I am very good with reading comprehension therefore, summarizing is effortless but asking meaningful questions is tough.

  4. Hall has extensively used many prominent figures in the world of sociology and psychology to develop the three subjects he explored in section 1. Often, he would mention none of this is absolute and is open the debate and be open minded.

    The first and most prominent figure he used was Descartes with his most famous idea being “I think, therefore, I am” which allow many to form an identity of themselves by combining both mind and matter into one (p603 pr3). He also used Darwinism of physical development of brain, further distancing those from pre-Enlightenment of Church suppression with God (p604 pr4).

    The second subject was formed around how the society is changing one’s identity and how both the inside and outside of oneself to accommodate society around them. He used Marxism as a prime example with support from Louis Althusser to put on an emphasis the social structure is displacing individualism (p606 p6). Using Freud’s work on subconscious mind, he mentioned infant will often mirror their parent behavior growing up (p 607 pr4). This is a direct opinion into the very nature of “Nature vs Nurture” and the fantasy of one’s identity as “unified”. The meaning of words, which many people hold onto dearly, are constantly changing and evolving as they are mostly relative to one another. The disciplinary power that controls and change individual identity in favor of collectivism as people thirst for power and succeeding together. (p610). In all these ideas collectively change an identity

    The third subject was his main focus. Feminism plays a major part in pushing many of the sociological subject toward postmodernism allowing one to be free from the social and political construct that was formed around post 1960’s (p610-p611). He then delved extensively into the notion of “National Identity” and globalism for the subject of postmodern.

    He made a strong argument in that nation is not a single entity but thru many iterations of hegemony throughout periods of time(p616). Further a nation’s identity is about reliving the tradition and story was told before our time (p613). This myth of national identity is more prevalent especially in African countries post colonialism (p614, p616). It ultimately led him to conclude that race and national identity are a mixture of cultures not of one pure people.

    Globalization and especially consumerism have pulled many parts of the world together into this small period of time-space (p619-p620). This has made it possible for people in the poorest part of the world to relate to the western world thanks to telecommunication and compression of time-space (621).

    Hall used all this example to develop his analysis that there wasn’t a concrete identity to begin with, as all the preconceive notion of national identity and culture are just a mix of different culture thru different periods of time. He especially took a strong jab at England by stating that England on its own was also obtain thru hegemony of many iteration.

  5. While reading sections two through four I’ve noticed the three identities subject Concepts explored in Section 1 we’re more developed and expanded upon in these sections. Section 2 goes on about the aspects of being a religious Between identity and creates the fact that God was responsible for the philosophy people from pre-modernism believed at the time. however, Section 3 goes on about the cultural connections between identity as he focuses on the background of a person and where someone is growing up in and the values they are upholding. And lastly, Section 4 deals with how globalization, (that was touched on in section 3) were affected how each person was perceiving themselves as they looked towards the future. Each of these topics dealt with the three concepts that were mentioned in chapter 1 post-enlightenment( with the modernization process), the sociological subject, dealing with the social aspects of identity and finally post-modernism. Hall took many references toward marxism and uses them in a way to make it seem like he was asking the reader what was the meaning behind the concept of marxism. However, since he was asking it in a He uses it to a developer’s analysis and continues to expand his thought processes on how Marxism was the first breakthrough in terms of identity throughout the part was modernism period.

  6. In Stuart Hall’s book “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Hall introduces the idea of a “so-called ‘crisis of identity'” (Page 596). To Hall the idea of cultural identity is complex and can be broken down into 3 types. The first being the Enlightenment subject, this is where Hall explains that the idea of “the human person as a fully centered, unified individual” (Page 596) is developed. Here the person’s identity is based on the individual. The second is sociological subject. Here he explains that cultural identity is based on ones self and society. The third type is the post-modern subject, here identity has “no fixed essential, or permanent identity” (Page 598).
    In the beginning of section 1.2 Hall ties the post-modern subject to a quote by Marx about modernity. Later in this section Hall continues to state various works by people on modernity: “‘characterized by a never-ending process of internal ruptures and fragmentations within itself'” (Page 599 Harvey). He concludes the section by saying “Giddens, Harvey, and Laclau offer somewhat different readings of the nature of change in the post-modern world” (Page 600).
    In section 1.3 Hall gives the example of Clarence Thomas and the sexual assault claims made against him. Further in the section Hall states there were many different identities at play in the case. He states that based on someone skin color or political standing they were ether more or less likely to vote for him or for against him. He states in the section “The identities were contradictory. They cross-cut or “dislocated” each other” (Page 601).
    These texts along with the example of Clarence Thomas help show different sides of Hall’s argument. The texts cited by Hall’s help to explain the three concepts of identity mentioned in the first section in depth. The example of Clarence Thomas shows there might actually be a serious crisis of identity. In the example Hall explains based on color and someones political identity you would have a different stance on the allegations against Clarence.

  7. In Section 1 of “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Stuart Hall gives us an introduction to the topic of his study- identity. He touches on the question of identity and how it has changed over the years, because of various factors.
    Hall describes the three ideas of identity in trying to explain his theory (page 597):
    1) Enlightenment subject
    2) Sociological subject
    3) Post-modern subject.
    In Chapters 2-4, he expands on those ideas, going into detail to explain the shift in how individuals identified themselves centuries ago, to how they define themselves in the world today.
    Hall writes that in earlier times, people had accepted their status and position, their identity, as a fact of life, something that was not to be questioned. This all changed during the Enlightenment period of the 18th century. People began to ask questions and think about reason, and this led to changes in the way they saw and identified themselves, as Renee Decartes stated, “I think, therefore I am” (page 603).
    Hall then moves on to the social aspect, writing that “individuals are formed…through their membership of, and participation in, wider social relationships” (page 605), and shows the connection between the individual and the society he lives in.
    The post-modern subject was influenced, according to Hall, by five developments during the 20th century, which led to the “de-centering” of the subject (page 607).
    Hall uses different strategies of rhetoric to present his ideas.
    He writes his motive very clearly- the idea of discovering what is meant by identity, how it has changed, the different types of identity (national, cultural, etc.).
    Hall may be presenting his writings to other theorists and students, and includes many sources to show accuracy in his beliefs.
    He brings theories and ideas of others to back up his purpose and includes many historical events for the same reason.

  8. To introduce these three concepts of identity that Hall believes would solve his so called “crisis of identity”, he uses an extensive collection of many differing peoples each with their own unique set of fields that inexplicably link not only to each other but also connect back and strengthen his argument about whether there is a “crisis of identity” or not.

    Throughout all of Sections 2, 3, and 4, Hall scatters each reference to each person in such a way that for example in Section 2, by explaining how an identity is but fragmented and is done so because of dislocation by using one of many of Marx’s quotes in his writing by stating how any individual may be an author, but can not be an author of history because there are either others present in an even or certain conditions were set for said individual to record the even in question (page 606), thereby showing that the individual claiming to be an author of history is false.

    To continue, in Section 3, after having questioned these three concepts, Hall brings up the idea of a person’s national identity and how this may affect an individual’s or even a cultural groups’ cultural identity. As such, Hall visits a point brought up by Roger Scruton, a conservative philosopher, who stated that how an identity of man is understood is by being apart of some larger grouping that allows for a sense of familiarity and acceptance, similar to that of one’s own home (page 612). Furthermore, Hall expands on the connection of three concepts of identity to one’s national identity by explaining the narrative or background of one’s nation to then influence their identity conceptually. Hall demonstrates that through the narrative of a nation, in reference to their origin, history, traditional and cultural behaviors, amongst other examples such as myths of a nation or even how pure and original a person is of their nation, that these are shaping both one’s cultural affinity to their identity as well as their national roots condensed into their identity.

    Finally, in Section 4, Hall expands on his discussions about identity by explaining them through the notion of globalization, in that he uses this term from Anthony McGrew, where he confers the idea that identity, in terms of a global sense, are brought about through many iterations and interactions between many varying people, so much so that identities across the globe are now no longer a single based identity – or if it was one to begin with – and are essentially bastardizations of multiple amalgamous other identities that identify themselves through not just through a single characteristic. Through this, Hall then questions whether the three concepts of identity that he mentions in Section 1 are still present, as he uses current examples of cultural identity through the idea of an added social presence, now seen in the electronic plane (page 622).

    To answer the second part of the Writing, all elements of the rhetorical situation are present in the text. Hall and his extensive usage of assumed context based on the numerous accounts that he has gathered for the sake of explaining only one portion of each of his sections demonstrates his capabilities of breaking down these hard to swallow topics that are either all too real or simply hard to comprehend. In citing multiple sources, Hall furthers his arguments by inciting a continuous line of thought that is meant to create a sense of flow for his readers – that being where his target audience is directed to students like me – and allows his audience to digest the information he provides at the pace of his audience’s liking.

  9. Stuart Hall develops the concept of three identity subjects stated in 1.1, “Three Concepts of Identity” : Enlightenment subject, Sociological subject, and Post-modern (pg 597) throughout the sections of the text. Section 2 discusses more about identity and its hardships in more of the enlightenment subject. “The idea that identities were fully unified and coherent …subject” (pg 602) implies that identity was perceived differently than before. His way of discussing how the human subject was once centered wit the followings of practices and how its slowly becoming “de-centralized”as time advances.
    Section 3 discusses more of the “sociological subject”. Hall talks about how national identity and the identities others are born into are affected and displayed. “What is happening to cultural identity… process off globalization” (pg 611). Hall sets an example of how different races in what people are born into is what they perceive them as. Meaning that if you was born to be Indian, Jamaican, etc. is what sets the root example of how you should be perceived. He implies how its disintegrates.
    Section 4 discusses more about the “Post-modern subject” and how its process of globalization “weakens or undermines the national forms of cultural identity” (pg 621). Thus explaining how national identity should not be perceived differently regardless of how global identifications have been set. Its basis of trends and how it manipulates strong cultural identities.
    Reading for conversations differs from reading solely for content and memorization because when reading for conversations you must understand the text. Reading for memorization doesn’t really mean you need to read the text carefully and analyze it. The memorization process is when you read and remember what you need to know specifically rather then actually understanding the text and getting to know what the writer is talking about.The fact that when you converse with someone about a text is easily noticeable when you have understood the text. Memorization is a tool to remember bits and pieces of something without you having to actually know hat it means.When reading this text I had to re-read a lot of sentences over to clearly understand what Hall was talking about.

  10. In “The Question of Cultural Identity”, Stuart Hall introduces the three concepts of identity. These are: The Enlightenment Subject, Sociological Subject and Post-Modern Subject (page 597). In sections 2-4 Hall expands on these three concepts. Hall argues that societies “are characterized by ‘difference'”. These differences help produce identities (page 600).
    In section 2 Hall explores “The Enlightenment Subject”. In this section he used Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”. He explains that identity isn’t formed when someone is an infant but it is something that is learnt and formed in relation to others (page 607).
    Section 3 Hall talks about the Sociological Subject and how this “fragmented subject: is placed in terms of cultural identities (page 611). In section 4 Hall explains the Post-Modern Subject when he talks about Globalization and how cultural identities are represented throughout the globe. Hall uses examples from many different philosophers when explaining the concepts. He used Marxism as one of his main example.
    In Hall’s analysis, he concluded that we are always learning about our identity and that it is always evolving.

  11. In the first section of The Question of Cultural Identity, Hall introduces 3 different concepts as the structure for identity. The 3 concepts are The Enlightenment subject, the sociological subject, and the post-modern subject. (Pg. 597, sec 1.1) He describes the Enlightenment subject as a more individualistic approach to identity, he explains this as the conception of the human person as a fully centered, unified individual endowed with the capabilities of reason, consciousness and action, and at the center of this person is their identity. (Pg. 597, sec 1.1) The sociological subject is a persons relation to significant others, such as important philosophical thinkers. This connection has to do with the relationship between self and society, and how it molds an individual. (Pg. 597, sec 1.1) Lastly, there is the post-modern subject in which identities are in a way never stagnant, they are constantly changing because of the way that modern societies accept change and are never resolute. In chapters 2-4 he builds on the three previous concepts by going more in-depth into each of them. He builds connections between the topics of nation, globalization, and national culture, which allows him to critically develop all concepts of cultural identity. (Pg. 615) Hall’s intention, however, is not to provide definite answers, he wishes to provoke thought and to get the reader to themselves critically define/ think of identity in its entirety, and what influences it.

  12. Actually, when i finish reading through the chapter 2 to 4 i was totally agree with hall and other scholar of the view and Ideas, begin at three for represent show three milestone: 1.The Enlightenment Subject is represent the way being 1st period all people of identitie contract modern socity seem very unitary,everybody live in the no changes found appear condition, cause the traffic and geography factor many people can’t going to conversation with other frequently and span over far away to the otherh landspace, the main and effective methed was conflict when the conflict would stimulate trading and cooperation.However, people need through compare each other to help itself knows who i am, your height, weight, appearance these thing was by compare to other to require own identities.(pg 597).
    2: Sociological Subject, in fact, any sociological Subject of planning is better differentiate and make better manage social order, a well known information that any modernization is base on the industrialization, thus, the foundations of industrial and modern facilities will be increasingly connected and exchanged.Also flatten human society.Society is composed of collectives and human beings are societies. Therefore, under the social order, each different identity is also the epitome of human collective consciousness. Different miniatures overlap, merge, and change. Each person wears a different mask to live in the shadow of modern society. From the perspective of my text, it is pessimistic, but in fact it is optimistic. Everything has its two sides. At the same time that human development is becoming more and more diverse, only change itself is constant.(page 601)
    Hall uses the discourses of different scholars to develop his own arguments. Globalization is an inevitable post modern interpretation of the development of modern society. These historical military science, technology, humanities, economics, and other factors are intertwined to form a new system. De-center and Dislocation is composed of the behavior of countless individuals based on their rational choice mode on a macro level. Human beings rely on instinct and reason to change into the products most suitable for so-call society, but actually change the society passively. The two interact with each other and are entangled.(pg618)

  13. In the first section, Stuart Hall introduces his titular topic, “The Question of Cultural Identity.” three concepts of identity: The Enlightenment subject, the sociological subject, and the post-modern subject. In this first. Sections 2-4 go into further detail on how these three subjects might answer what Identity is.
    As I read the passage “The Question of Cultural Identity”, before researching who he is, I can tell that Stuart Hall is a scholar. His writing is hard to keep up with and he uses difficult vocabulary. However in doing so, it promotes his audience (mainly students) to actively read his writing and process better information. A common thing that I have noticed about Hall’s writing is that it interacts with the reader and encourages them to think. He mentions that the topic he is discussing is very conceptual and opinionated, meaning that his work is open to criticism. He also formulate many questions and tells the reader to keep them in mind, giving the reader the chance to gather their own thoughts on the topic and retain important information (Pg 596, para 4). Similar behavior can be seen in further sections.
    The second section “The Birth and Death of the Modern Subject”, talks about the first emergence of the “human subject” and it’s changes from when it was the “Enlightenment Subject” into the “Post-Modern Subject”. The third section “National Cultures as ‘Imagined Communities’”, talks about how national identities create the “Fragmented Subject” or the post-modern subject. A good way on how Hall explains his points is his research. He sources many philosophers and sociologists like Raymond Williams and Rene Descartes to back up his claims about the “Enlightenment Subjects”.

  14. The initial 3 frameworks being The Enlightenment, The sociological aspect and the The postmodern theory presented by Stuart Hall is reinforced in chapters 2-4. Starting off on page 596 where Hall introduces the idea of “identity crisis”. Speaking on the idea of people being the decision behind the identity they posses, been with the considerations of the aspects that can be used to identify them. Which then leads to page 602 which states “with certain fixed human capacities and a stable sense of its own identity and place in order of things – first emerged in the modern age; how it became “centered” in discourses and practices which shaped modern societies,” and then later stating “The main focus of this section is conceptual. It is concerned with changing conceptions of the human subject as a discursive figure who unified form and rational identity were presupposed by, and essential to both the discourses of modern thought and the process which shaped modernity.” Both quotes showing how the idea of a modern society was not to be the cause of self identification, but internal reasons and realizations should be the cause. Ultimately showing that the first step in the process is the debunking and the enlightenment of the people. Section 3 how shows that modern day society has a grasp on the ideas presented to people. Though people should have a realization of them self, when placed in a world where things matter, voices, opinions admiration matters, you’re secioned of and selective in the categories you place yourself in. With the hold on certain agendas such as , political standpoint, race, gender, culture and money people are more conscious and considerate in which they identify themselves, Breaking through and following a more historical aspect, you see people conforming to the “traditions”, literary and linguistics aspect which people use to shape themselves or in other cases is what shapes them subconsciously. Section 4’s main points were on the effects on globalization and the effect it had on the way a person perceived them self.

  15. Hall’s main idea in this text is provided through use of the Enlighten, Sociological, and post-modern subjects provided in section 1.1 (Pg 597). The ideas represented by these subjects are later explained and expanded upon by Sections 2 to 4 which also provide the reader with examples of how different philosophers of different eras viewed the subject. In section 2 Hall tried to explain the ideas of some theorists who explained how the enlighten subject was changed to a more open and decentered subject and how these ideas relate to the post-modern subject.
    Hall uses his ability to talk directly to the reader to tell us that he believes that the modern subject cannot be described simply as someone who was centered in the past and now has a decentered identity, but this simplistic view does allow him to explain how the idea behind the modern subject has shifted in “three strategic points”(602). This is later expanded upon when Hall states that the Enlightenment gave the individual a unique and centered position in the universe which wasn’t necessarily connected to religion as it used to be before that period. He then states that this idea changed with Descartes’ philosophy of “dualism” which divided the individual into mind and soul which meant that some mental/conscious phenomena could not be explained with physical terms of the body. This again changes with John Locke’s idea that the physical world or past events in a subject’s life do affect the subject’s identity (Pg602- 603). This final idea relates directly to Hall’s statement that an individual is regularly being “dislocated by forces outside itself” (Pg 600) which relates to the idea of the sociological subject. Although in the 18th century an individual was viewed as centered and separated from the rest, it was changed with the introduction of capitalism as individuals were now viewed as part of the same machine powering the economy (Pg. 604).
    In section 3 Hall talks about the meaning of nations. He believed that a nation is made up of our imagination (Pg 613). This means that a nation is made from what the people want it to be which is done through the use of stories that relate to the nation’s origin. These stories allow different people to come together under the same political/ national roof (Pg. 614), thus making a nation of different subjects. He expands on this idea when talking about tribal communities such as those found in Africa. These ideas are used to explained whether national identities are dislocated or not, and Hall uses it mainly to support the idea that nationality is in reality “stitched up” differences that become an identity. Finally, in section 4, Hall explains the influence of time and space in our identity. He states the in the past a “Place”, which is considered specific, used to be equivalent to space, but in a post-modern society that is mot the case. This is due to the advances in technology which allow for individuals to communicate without being face to face.
    Finally, Hall uses elements of rhetorical situation to expand and explain his ideas. The two most prominent elements are the ability to talk to the reader and the use of outside sources to further develop his point/ purpose. By talking to the reader it allows us to have a more intimate view of the conversation and makes it interesting to read. Hall’s use of other authors gives the writing a continuous flow that keeps the conversation/ questions interesting and constantly on the rise.

  16. On my reading I found certain connections that Hall wrote about that developed the concepts of the three identity subjects he explained in Section one. In page 605 he explains how the transformation of society directly affected the identity of people. He wrote “The sovereign individual with his wants, needs, desires, and interests, remained the pivotal figure in the discourses of both modern economics and the law.” Since the attention of society was no longer at culture, but rather at the individual’s needs and wants, it shows that they departed from their ancestors past identities. The new society forms the identities of the new generations. This helps us understand the Enlightenment Subject further, his center focuses only on himself, and his soul or conciseness are what identify him and not his culture, nation, and race. As society focuses on the needs and wants of individuals this in effect causes them to forget or move on from any culture that would deny their needs and wants. The new society helped influence the existing Enlightenment Subject. The sociological subject who in basic definition, is the product of his environment is also affected by society’s new priority, the needs and wants of humans, forsaking culture, nation and race. The post-modern subject having no fixed or permanent identity is also directly affected by society’s new shift of priority. His identity changes as his needs and wants change and being put in different situations. These were three connections that I spotted on my reading that developed the concepts of the three identity subjects.

  17. In the beginning, Hall introduced the readers to the notion “crisis of identity” that has formed with the belief that the ‘old identities’ are being replaced by ‘new identities’. In order to thoroughly explore this notion, Hall provided an exposure to three concepts of identity (Page 597). These three concepts include the enlightenment subject, sociological subject, and the post modern subject, each of which he further develops in sections 2-4. In Sections 1 and 2, Hall focuses on the shifts that had taken place in regards to the concepts of identity and the subject. In section 2 specifically, Hall focused on each of the three concepts by the philosophical works of Locke, Descartes, and Williams and a few other theorists, to demonstrate the changes that occurred in the manner in which people perceived identities. In other words, In the earlier days, people thought of identities as a factor that is formed through circumstances, singular, and consistent. This concept of identity was not at question until the Enlightenment era, when people were enticed to explore the limits of the factors that previously handed their identities. In the post modern society, the constantly changing cultural aspects transformed people from the traditional lifestyle, to new elements that led people to gradually make changes to the manner in which they conceptualized ‘self’, hence leading to the shifts in identity. In further sections 3-4, Hall develops this argument with respect to cultural identities, “those aspects of our identities which arise from our ‘belonging’ to” as mentioned by hall in the introduction. Section 3 focuses on the influence of society on general national Identities and elements within it that shed light on what shapes our character. He also ties in the impact of globalization on society by analyzing the harmony and conflicts it creates, in section 4. He expresses that globalization has produced a sense of interconnectedness that leads to a different level of interactions that people experience in the modern society. Exposure to such interactions and experiences contribute to people’s personal process of identification. Throughout the latter 2 chapters, Hall develops his argument by uncovering such components that leads to the passageway of ‘crisis of Identity”

  18. Stuart Hall inspects through the rapid new era of modernity as I gaze through section 2 to 4 of the context “Identity in Question”. The word ‘identity’, is highly complexible to understand, and it shapes us how we are today, with a different new approach to world and the society in whole . Our modern identity has gone through a lot of phase and transition and was influenced by three subjects as mentioned by Stuart hall. These were ‘Enlightenment, Sociological, and post modern’ subjects. What contented my eyes and thoughts were the causes of post-modern subject. The way he talked in depth with it provided a 100% satisfactions.

    Hall conceptualizes the post/modern subject on page 598 as “having no fixed, essential, or permanent history”, but instead he illustrates identity as a “moveable feast”. our identity and the way we do approach things in every moment of hour 24 hours life cycle was different for those who came before us few decades ago. This identity is constantly, rapidly changing as society becomes more complex and new ideas and thoughts are influenced. His analysis upon society and modernity has been outstanding as he cites from ‘Marks and Engels, 1973’ as Modernity is “ All fixed, fast-frozen relationships, with train of venerable ideas and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed one becomes obsolete before they can ossify.” Those who are left behind with this phase of change in society and preserve their values and don’t associate new ideas are known as tradition. Hall describes tradition as a “means of handling time and space”on page 599. Not all society agrees with the desire that wants and needs are to be changed as time changes. Those who preserve their way of living and don’t indulge other values in their routine set history. This is how the world is distinguished. Those countries who stood side by side with modernity being changed are known as developed countries and those who didn’t are known as undeveloped or developing country.

  19. In section 1.1, Mr. Hall gave us three very different conceptions of identity. Those are (a) Enlightenment subject, (b) Sociological subject, and (c) Post-modern subject (The Question of Cultural Identity: 597). Then later from section 2-6 he tried to explain those concepts.
    The aim of section 2 is to trace the stages through which a particular version of “the human subject” – with certain fixed human capacities and a stable sense of its own identity and place in the order of things. (Page 602). He also offered a brief sketch of five great advances or de-centering the subject in social theory and the human sciences which have occurred in or have their major impact upon. Those are –
    (1) The traditions of Marxist thinking,
    (2) In twentieth-century western thought comes from Freud’s “discovery” of the unconscious. “I think, therefore I am” came to the light.
    (3) Language is a social, not an individual system.
    (4) Disciplinary Power
    (5) Feminism
    In this section, he tried to map the conceptual shifts. (Page 611)
    In section 3, He talked about the national cultures into which we are born are one of the principal sources of cultural identity. (Page 611) He also mentioned that national cultures are not only made with cultural institutions, but they also have symbols and representations too. To understand the narrative of the national cultural he gave us five main elements. (1) Narrative of the nations, (2) emphasis on origins, continuity, tradition, and timelessness, (3) the inventions of tradition, (4) foundational myth: a story which locates the origin of the nation, the people and their national character, (5) National Identity. He also gave us 3 points to understand the structure of cultural power. He also thinks the national cultures as constituting discursive devices not as unified. (Page 617). Identity is deeply implicated in representation.
    In section 4 Halls tried to answer the importance of argument about the impact of globalization on identity. He tried to discuss about the debate between the “global” and the “local”.

  20. In the first section of “ Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Society”, Hall introduces three main concepts (597) that form the framework for our analysis of ‘Identity’:

    1)The Enlightenment
    2)The sociological aspect
    3)The postmodern theory

    He builds on these concepts through sections 2-4, further elaborating and simultaneously breaking down the transformations ‘Identity’ has gone through that has now, eventually lead to a “crisis of identity”.

    Section 2 presents the idea of the “changing conceptions of the human subject” that has “shaped” the way we perceive identity today. The post-modern theory went through three pivotal changes, due to three corresponding philosophers. The Enlightenment highlighted the idea that identity was “singular, distinctive, unique” (603) and was not influenced by external forces. Raymond Williams notes how major movements of western culture and thought allowed an individual to transcend the limitations of religion and what was divinely ordained, to form their own identity, giving way to Rene Descartes to establish his theory of “dualism”. This theory states that mental thoughts cause physical reactions and vice versa. Another critical contribution was made by John Locke who defined the processes and experiences a person has to go through to build their own identity. Hence, these three postmodern theories suggest that personality or identity is indeed influenced by external forces. These external forces not only include globalization and marxism but our identity is also influenced by what we are exposed to subconsciously. These influences result in the “de-centering”(607) of identity as the sociological aspect has a great effect on its development.

    This idea connects in the third section when Hall expands the influence of societies into the generalization of national identities that encompasses political dynamics, money, race, feminism and finally boils down to culture. Every person represents a nation, thus representing a generalization of the people of that nation (613). This aspect of identity that includes traditions, histories, literature, and language is something that we are born with and are timeless. As Hall stated in the second section, this is what we adapt subconsciously (609). Tradition is what remains consistent in our national identities. These sociological aspects of our national narrative, however, give rise to many conflicts. Hall deconstructs national culture and proposes the idea that while national identity ‘unites’ it also constricts and emphasizes ‘differences’. Globalization resulted in the interconnectedness between people as well as the different cultures of the world. What we come to realize is that there are communities who oppose this as they feel the need to defend their own culture and do not allow it to be influenced by other cultures. Some cultures even deem themselves as superior to others and claim that individualization is ‘descending’ (611). They fail to realize that this restricts the growth of identity and a person as a whole.

    Moreover, in section 4 Hall explains that the narrative a nation is associated with becomes a stereotype for other nations, this is what he calls, “Imagined communities”(613). The best example of this, in my opinion, is given in Edward W Said’s book “Orientalism” (1978) that portrays the West’s patronizing view of the East as being ‘The other’: exotic and barbaric that needed to civilized. Differences also arise within communities as well, because of class structure, racism, and sexism. As Hall says, “Each movement appeals[ed] to the social identity of its supporters”(611). We only align our identities with what we deem important. He stresses this by explaining the incident of Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas and how the community was split and were in a conflict about whom to support (601).

    What is important in the case of globalization, however, is ‘representation’ every culture has across the world. While multiple aspects of a culture can be lost in translation other things can be adopted into other cultures that are beneficial to all communities, such as art, architecture, and technology: ‘Cultural homogenization’(623). This homogenization results in identity ‘hybrids’ and stresses Hall’s main argument that identity is ever-evolving and never fixed.

  21. During the readings of sections 2-4, there were some key bits of information I noticed that helped to further explore the concepts in section one.

    For the enlightenment subject, Hall mentioned how pre-enlightenment thought was mainly secular and divine-based, which “…overshadowed any sense that one was a sovereign individual.”(pg.602) He explained that “sovereign individual”, as an idea, was birthed between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This helped stray thought off the path of religion and onto a more self-centered alignment.

    Then there was the sociological subject, which was based on external factors affecting the development of the individual. While it was less self-centered, it still held on to the idea of a true “inner self”. This general idea was further expanded when Hall mentions Marxism, and how Marx held an argument that “men (sic) make their history, but only on the basis of the conditions which are not of their own making”. (pg. 606) This idea states that one person alone does not make their world alone, but those around them, and those before them, take part as well. This also ties into the post-modern self, that is the self that is constantly changing, in both character and identity, as a persons “one true self” does not exist, but rather a person is something that is in flux, it does not stay firm. Hall uses constant historical references and expands on points of humans have grown throughout the ages, and how key thinkers really defined the growing beliefs of people.

  22. In 1st part, Hall introduced three concepts of identities, namely, Enlightenment subject, sociological subject and post-modern subject in order to explore questions about cultural identity to assess whether a “crisis of identities” exist. Hall initially deals with the change in the concepts of identity and the subject and later in the chapter he develops the argument with respect to culture identities. The Enlightenment subject refers to the concept of a human as a fully centered, unified individual whose center is consisted of an “inner core” which emerge when and an individual is born and remains the same throughout the existence. Hall called it a very “individualist” conception of the subject’s identity. The sociological subject reflected that the inner core of the subject is not sufficient with respect to the modern complexity of the world. It unfolds the viewpoint that identity is formed in the “interaction” between self and society. While keeping the inner core “the real me”, it modifies the subject identity by brings aspects of the cultural world from the “outside”, hence this concept fills the gap between inside and outside. The post modern subject talks about having no permanent identity. Hall calls it a “moveable feast” as subject assume different identities in different situations which are not coherent “self”. He further claims that it’s unrealistic to think of having a fully unified, secure and coherent identity. The growth of cultural representation in the society has multiplicative affect on the possible identities – at least temporarily. (pg. 597-598)

    In part 2, Hall connects the Enlightenment of the 18th century to the Renaissance humanism of the 16th century. Between the era, “sovereign individual” was born. The period was considered by some to be the foundation of the whole social system of “modernity” in motion. (pg.602) In regard to the conception of subject, it’s powers and capacities, Hall mentioned Descartes who postulated two distinct substances, matter and mind (the great dualism). At the center of the “mind” he placed the individual subject. “I think, therefore I am” – Decartes watchwords which give reasons to think according to one’s capacity. (pg.603) Hall also mention in the context to the “de-centerings”, Freud’s discovery of the unconscious through psychic and symbolic processes which conflicted Decartes ignorance of unconsciousness. (pg.607)

    In part 3, Hall examines national culturals and how fragmented subject “fits” in terms of cultural identities. He mainly focused on nationality of an individual and how it has been “displaced” through the course of globalization. His argument focused on the nationality because no individual was born with it but grown and transformed with this representation. (pg. 611-612) National culture construct identities on the basis of history of the land which connects it’s present with the past. The experiences of common culture, sorrow, triumph, disaster are common grounds of connectivity among the nation. (pg. 613) Hall also shared an example where narrative of the national culture is considered to be a “myth” and not real. (pg. 614) A critical arguement was also made by Gellner to the narrative that national identity is symbolically the reflection of the idea of pure and orginal people “folk”, that orginal people did not dream of becoming powerful bureaucrats, ambassadors and ministers. (pg. 615) In the second half of the part 3, Hall brought light onto the point that class, gender or race seeks to unify to represent common national family. Under the umbrella of nation culture he examined how modern nations consist of different cultures coexist after a forcible suppression of cultural differences. How “the British people” are the product of series of such conquests, Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Viking and Norman. (pg. 616) Hall explains that modern nations are all culturally hybrid so instead of finding unity in national cultures, their differences should be taken into account as unified subject. (pg.617)

    In part 4, Hall talks about globalization and how it is powerfully dislocating national cultural identities. He mentioned McGrew who argued that globalization is the process which break through boundaries in space-time combination and promoting interconnection. (Pg.619) Physically, the distance is maintained and the roots are intact, yet space has shrink so much that Harve calls this “the annihilation of space through time”. (pg.621) The later in part 4, he discusses the business and marketing point of view which intentionally or unintentionally brought East and the West together. The global consumerism helped the “cultural supermarket” to grow and this phenomenon is known as “cultural homogenization”. (pg.622) Hall also states that Globalization is the driving force of today but particularity of place and culture can never be erased. Globalization emphasize on “humanity” as an identity in contrast to the national identity. (pg.623)

  23. Mr. Hall thoroughly progressed his view form section 2-4. In his paper, “Modernity: An Introduction to Modern Society”, Mr. Hall briefly talks about 3 concepts of his investigation of Cultural Identity. The first concept that he talks about is the Enlightenment and moving forward from this he unfolds more into the mix. The Post-Modern theory and The Sociological Aspect.
    In section 2 Mr. Hall talks about the phase in society in which people began to realize the question life and its purpose. As Renee Decartes wrote, “Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am)” Before that, people before that era had already accepted their social class, their position/role in their particular society. They behaved differently with different people. At home they were someone. At the market they were someone else.
    The Post-Modern theory that he elaborates on was a clusterful to say the least. He at first proclaimed that as society progresses people progressed their thinking as well. This led to further confusion of their identity. We only align our identities with what we think is important. The sociological aspect is how like everything is more accessible now, people can access parts of the world in just a second. If a person comes abroad to study, like me, he or she can call home and be with their “culture” and change themselves almost immediately. Then when reality hits back and when they see their surroundings and it’s not like what they were used to growing up, this confusion hits them and they start questioning themselves on where they belong. These problems directly influence the persons “de-centering” (607)

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