Foucault

In our class discussion we have learned that representation is a critical part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged. It involves the use of language, images, and signs which stands for or represent things. However because we unconsciously internalize codes that express certain concepts/ideas, language can never be fixed. Foucault argues that while we can all agree to allow words to carry different meanings, it is the speaker who imposes his/her unique meaning on what those words mean. What concerned Foucault the most was the production of knowledge through what he called discourse. Discourse, is the production of knowledge through language. He argues, knowledge will appear across a range of texts/forms at many different times within a society.

Comedian, Chris Rock has recently expressed that he will not be performing on college campuses anymore due to students being “too conservative” and “politically correct.” Rock says, “Kids raised on a culture of ‘we’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.’ Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say ‘the black kid over there.’ No, it’s ‘the guy with the red shoes.’ You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”

I believe Rock makes a valid point. Comedians tailor their material to entertain the audience in front of them. However language in stand-up performances has to be carefully selected because it can be interpreted in many ways to different people. While Rock may have harmless intentions, I think as a society we all need to lighten up.

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