How Does The Visual Constitute Normalising Practices Essay

1789 WordsNov 24, 20098 Pages
How does the visual constitute normalising practices? Focusing on gender and sexuality, explain how the visual might construct and/or resist social norms with respect to a range of examples. The visual constitutes normalising practices, through the construction of social norms, particularly in relation to gender and sexuality. This essay will analyse examples of the visual that demonstrate social norms. Firstly, a review of what ‘the visual’ is will provide a basis for the analysis. Secondly, this analysis will outline what normalisation is, with reference to Foucault’s disciplinarity and normalisation stages. In addition, the notion of social norms will also be described to enable the analysis. An evaluation of two popular cultural examples, a Hahn Beer television advertisement and the television show, Two and Half Men will provide instances of the visual, which construct social norms. Foucault’s panoptic paradigm then describes how social norms amalgamate to create normalising practices. In conducting this analysis it is essential to understand what ‘the visual’ is, specifically how it contributes to normalisation. The visual, as Schirato and Webb describes, is very often taken for granted (2004; p1). It includes what is seen, such as television shows, movies, artwork, websites, photographs, advertising, clothing, buildings and more. The visual, forms visual culture and visual culture is studied by looking at how things are viewed. This view is seen by people through filters that are determined by such factors as a person’s history, the context in which a person is looking, what a person’s understanding of the world is and someone’s tastes, interests and habits (Schirato & Webb 2004; p 2). The visual can be articulated to have control and influence over people, which is referred to visual regime (Schirato

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