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BINARY OPPOSITION

MARK G. ARRIESGADO
Reporter
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

known as binary system.


system by which, in language and
thought, two theoretical opposites are
strictly defined and set off against one
another.
is a pair of related terms or concepts that
are opposite in meaning.
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

Originated by Ferdinand de Saussure


1. binary opposition is the means by which the
units of language have value or meaning.
2. each unit is defined in reciprocal
determination with another term (binary
code).
3. it is not a contradictory relation but, a
structural complementary.
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

Post-Structuralism
1. one of the two opposites assumes a role of
dominance over the other
Pieter Fourie
1. Discovers that binary opposition have a deeper
or level of binaries that help to reinforce
meaning.
the concepts of hero and villain
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

Western Thought
there is absence and presence concept
(distinguishing between presence and absence)

Nasser Maleki
people value one part of a binary opposition over
another.
people give superiority to life rather than death.
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

Jacques Derrida
a violent hierarchy where one of the two terms
governs the other.
within the white/black binary opposition in the US

Dyer
is a way of understanding how representation are
deliberately placed in binary opposition to ensure the
dominant culture is maintained and the minority
representations is seen as subordinate and
marginalized.
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

Claude Levi-Strauss
the way understood certain words depended not so
much on any meaning they themselves directly
contain but by our understanding the different of the
world and its opposite.
a meaning of a word is from our understanding of its
opposite.
protagonist and antagonist (understanding of villain is by
the work of hero)
BINARY OPPOSITIONS

DYER THEORY STRAUSS THEORY


Common Binary
Dominant Subordinate
Opposition
Civilized Primitive
Good VS. Evil
Rational Irrational
Dark VS. Light
Order Chaos
Male VS. Female
Stability Violence
Loud VS. Silence
Superior Inferior

Thus, binary oppositions are the backbone


of any language, culture and philosophy.
STRUCTURALISM

20th century intellectual movement and


approach to the human sciences that
attempts to analyse a specific field as a
complex system of interrelated parts.
A system in which each element in a
group can only be understood by its
relation to other elements as part of a
larger structure.
STRUCTURALISM

Ferdinand de Saussure
Claude Levi-Strauss
Mary Douglas
STRUCTURALISM

A linguistic system is a series of differences of


sound combined with a series of differences of
ideas.
Ferdinand de Saussure
Structuralism as a paradigm shift
Opposing philological study of language
STRUCTURALISM

Ferdinand de Saussure
Focus not on parole but on langue.
Language to be analysed as a formal system
of signs.
Language is a system of signs that expresses
ideas.
Semiotics (semiology), the study of linguistic
structure.
STRUCTURALISM

Ferdinand de Saussure
Sign has two sides:
1. signifier
2. signified referent

the structure of language is a social product of our language facultyit is also


a body of necessary conventions adopted by society to enable members of
society to use their language faculty
STRUCTURALISM

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in


myths, but how myths operate in mens minds without
their being aware of the fact.
Claude Levi-Strauss
Structural anthropology
Following the ideas of Saussure, but he
introduced structuralist principles to a wide
audience.
Human mind essentially uniform
(humans thinks in binaries)
STRUCTURALISM

Claude Levi-Strauss
structural analysis examines unconscious
infrastructures of cultural phenomena
it regards the elements of insfrastructures as
relational, not as independent entities
it attends single-mindedly to system
It propounds general laws accounting for the
underlying organizing patterns of
phenomena.
STRUCTURALISM

Claude Levi-Strauss
systems arise from logical, not functional,
structures
dichotomy
totems
myth
STRUCTURALISM

Mary Douglas
Deciphering a Meal
syntagmatic
sequentially
contrast
relations
Language as Culture Paradigm Shift

First Second Third


Paradigm Paradigm Paradigm
Classification of Use across Analyse the
indigenous speakers and reproduction
languages activities. and
transformation
Goals of persons,
institutions, and
communities
across space
and time.
As lexicon As a As an
and culturally interactional
grammar organized achievement
View of and filled with
language culturally indexical
organizing values
domain. (ideological
ones).
Sentence, Speech Language
word, community, practice,
Preferred
morpheme communicati participation
units of
ve framework,
analysis
competence self/person/i
dentity
Linguistic The embodiment
relativity relationship , formation
Theoretical between and
issues language negotiation
and context. of
identity/self.
Preferred Traditional Participant Socio-
methods of texts from observation, historical
data native informal analysis.
collection speakers interviews.
Thank you