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  •  I am a post structuralist and student of Hall (2+ / 0-)
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    Bob Guyer, SuWho

    Butler, Hooks, Foucault and others. I here you on questions about tests of empirical truth regarding qualitative analysis. there it comes down to the voice, skill set, training, theoretic frameworks, writing, and broader knowledge at play. This separates the good and solid from the day players. Not all interpretations are created equal.

    As a historian, I would hope you are sympathetic to these questions of interpretation, especially regarding different approaches to historicism and historiography...I would hope.

    I am sure you know that there is not one reading of historical events...or the field would be dead. We likely have much in common.

    •  Sorry to respond tardily (0+ / 0-)

      Illness and work have taken my time and energy. Your point about historical interpretations is well taken.

      However, all valid historical interpretations are just that: interpretations of objectively verifiable events. One may dispute the significance and weight of the American Revolution, the Slave trade, the Civil War,  etc. but one cannot deny that they are historical fact. They are objective events that any interpretation must account for.

      Cultural artifacts are something all together different, particularly in the realm of popular culture. Here, you are in the realm of image and symbol rather than objective events.

      I've no doubt that we have much in common but the devil is in the details.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:42:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and again (0+ / 0-)

        "the realm of image and symbol rather than objective events."

        that is what interpretivism is about, and the many approaches to it. as i said there is a whole literature on their on the subject. even if you may disagree with it, you will likely learn a great deal of value. as i said, history is full of such debates too around the various schools of "new" historicism etc.  and how theory and different frameworks influence the interpretation of events.

        •  But in history, interpretations are (0+ / 0-)

          secondary to the events themselves. Can the same be said for cultural interpretation? Are cultural interpretations secondary to the images and symbols themselves or the intent behind them? Can images and symbols be said to possess objective content?

          Just asking.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:14:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  interesting (1+ / 0-)
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            WB Reeves

            maybe it depends on who trained you and what school of thought you subscribe to. for the historians i know interpretation of events is the whole point. unless you come upon new documents, evidence, archives, etc. much of the to and fro, in my experience is on the former. the texts are part of the interpretive process and the foundation.

            for your second question, it depends. i am a post structuralist and a post modern. i am familiar with modern/"old school" approaches. i appreciate them.

            Intent can be very helpful.

            But it does not override context, history, etc. as we said before, there are many folks whose "intent" may be contrary to how a text is received. moreover, once you start talking about questions of collective subconscious and the like, a person's "intent" often falls away.

            think about the power of the subconscious mind on a mass scale.

            have you read Barthes' mythologies or works on post structuralism or sociolinguistics? Zizek, Lacan, Foucault, Lakoff, Butler, etc? That is where I am coming from. As I said, you may enjoy some of it. Part of our differences may just be those of training and generations.

            We can learn to complement and help each other.

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