Why theory?

Author Topic: Why theory?  (Read 2556 times)

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 12:42:33 PM »
An example

Three characters: princess, stepmother, and prince
   A princess is persecuted by a stepmother and rescued (and married) by a prince
       ex. Cinderella
“units” are:princess, stepmother, and prince
 "rules" are: stepmothers are evil, princesses are victims, and princes and princesses have to marry.

   Structuralism analyses the relationship between units and rules.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 12:44:00 PM »
Structuralist notions on units and rules

Structuralists believe that the underlying structures which organize units and rules into meaningful systems are generated by the human mind itself, and not by sense perception.
As such, the mind is itself a structuring mechanism which looks through units and files them according to rules.
So structuralism sees itself as a science of humankind, and works to uncover all the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2011, 12:52:53 PM »
Structuralist Analysis Posits These Systems as Universal

Every human mind in every culture at every point in history has used some sort of structuring principle to organize and understand cultural phenomena.
Every human culture has some sort of language, which has the basic structure of all language: words/phonemes are combined according to a grammar of rules to produce meaning.
Every human culture similarly has some sort of social organization
   All of these organizations are governed, according to structuralism, by structures which are universal.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2011, 12:55:16 PM »
Structure

A structure is any conceptual system that has the following      three properties:
Wholeness:
This means that the system functions as a whole, not just as a collection of independent parts.
Transformation:
This means that the system is not static, but capable of change. New units can enter the system, but when they do they're governed by the rules of the system.
Self-Regulation:
 This is related to the idea of transformation. You can add elements to the system, but you can't change the basic structure of the system no matter what you add to it. The transformations of a system never lead to anything outside the system.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 12:57:17 PM »
Saussure’ ideas on linguistics

I: THE NATURE OF THE LINGUISTIC SIGN

Language is based on a NAMING process, by which things get associated with a word or name.

The linguistic SIGN (a key word) is made of the union of a concept and a sound image. A more common way to define a linguistic SIGN is that a SIGN is the combination of a SIGNIFIER and a SIGNIFIED. Saussure says the sound image is the SIGNIFIER and the concept the SIGNIFIED.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 12:58:12 PM »
The SIGN, as union of a SIGNIFIER and a SIGNIFIED, has two main characteristics.
  This principle dominates all ideas about the STRUCTURE of language. It makes it possible to separate the signifier and signified, or to change the relation between them.
 
The second characteristic of the SIGN is that the signifier exists in TIME, and that time can be measured as LINEAR.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2011, 12:59:20 PM »
II: LINGUISTIC VALUE
 Thought is a shapeless mass, which is only ordered by language. One of the questions philosophers have puzzled over for centuries is whether ideas can exist at all without language. No ideas preexist language; language itself gives shape to ideas and makes them expressible.
 The VALUE of a sign is determined, however, not by what signifiers get linked to what particular signifieds, but rather by the whole system of signs used within a community. VALUE is the product of a system or structure (LANGUE), not the result of individual relations (PAROLE).

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2011, 01:00:13 PM »
III.SYNTAGMATIC AND ASSOCIATIVE    RELATIONS

The most important kind of relation between units in a signifying system, is a SYNTAGMATIC relation. This means, basically, a LINEAR relation. In spoken or written language, words come out one by one .Because language is linear, it forms a chain, by which one unit is linked to the next.
An example  “”The cat sat on the mat””
                         â€œâ€  The mat sat on the cat “”
   English word order :SVO
   Japanese word order:SOV etc.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 01:01:16 PM »
SYNTAGMS

Combinations or relations formed by position within a chain  are called SYNTAGMS.
The terms within a syntagm acquire VALUE only because they stand in opposition to everything before or after them. Each term IS something because it is NOT something else in the sequence.
SYNTAGMATIC relations are most crucial in written and spoken language, in DISCOURSE, where the ideas of time, linearity, and syntactical meaning are important.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2011, 01:02:09 PM »
ASSOCIATIVE

Signs are stored in your memory, for example, not in syntagmatic links or sentences, but in ASSOCIATIVE groups.
"Education"       "-tion":education, relation, association
Similar associations: education, teacher, textbook, college, expensive.
    Random set of linkages: education, baseball, computer games, psychoanalysis
 ASSOCIATIVE relations are only in your head, not in the 
     structure of language itself, whereas SYNTAGMATIC relations
      are a product of linguistic structure.

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2011, 01:03:33 PM »
Conclusion: Saussure's structuralism is based upon three assumptions

the systematic nature of language, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
 the relational conception of the elements of language, where linguistic "entities" are defined in relationships of combination and contrast to one another
the arbitrary nature of linguistic elements, where they are defined in terms of the function and purpose they serve rather than in terms of their inherent qualities

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2011, 01:04:23 PM »
The Structuralists

Saussure (Course in general linguistics, 1915) holds that ‘linguistics is only a part of the general science of semiology [signs]): 1. What is the object of linguistic investigation? 2. What is the relationship between words and things? Langue (social system) and Parole (individual utterance)
Levi-Strauss sought the common element of all cultures, traceable ultimately to universal structures embedded deep in the human mind (The Raw and the Cooked). Mythemes.
Vladimir Propp (1928) studied fairytales to trace 7 possible characters and 31 functions.
A.J. Greimas (Structural Semiotics 1966) combined Saussure and Levi-Strauss to find a pattern for all stories, centring on the conflict between the hero’s quest for individual freedom and the constraints of the existing order.
Roland Barthe in S/Z: “to see whole landscape in a bean …to see all the world’s stories within a single culture…the text thereby loses its difference.”

Offline Tamanna Islam

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 10:16:55 PM »
carry on!

Offline Gopa B. Caesar

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 10:38:16 PM »
thabk you! :)

Offline Ferdousi Begum

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Re: Why theory?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 11:04:15 PM »
lemme ask, "Why theory"? :P