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  • Welcome to the Macat Multimedia Series. A Macat Analysis of Roland Barthes's Mythologies.

  • How can dominant ideologies successfully present themselves as simply the way the world should

  • be? The French theorist Roland Barthes thought

  • they did so by appropriating popular cultureand repurposing it. He believed they drained

  • popular ideas of their real meaningand then repackaged them to createmyths

  • that carried new and often very different implications.

  • Writing in Mythologies, a collection of essays published in 1957, Barthes looked at examples

  • drawn from everyday French life, from advertisements to the world of wrestling.

  • His aim was to show that imageswhich he calledsigns” – were stripped of

  • meaning when they were removed from their proper context. The result, he thought, was

  • the spread of a uniform, unthreatening and above all bourgeois ideology – a comfort

  • blanket of myth that might be cosy and reassuring, but could easily prove stifling.

  • To understand what Barthes meant, consider the iconic image of a charismatic revolutionary.

  • What did he really stand for? How has he been depicted in popular culture? And what does

  • his iconic image represent today? Barthes argued that the 'signs' that society

  • projects onto our revolutionary bear very little relation to his actual qualities. The

  • reality was that he was willing to kill to achieve political aimsand that the state

  • he helped to forge was more repressive, and less free, than his public statements might

  • suggest. Stripped of this context, though, his image

  • becomes a sign with other uses. It can exploit consumers' eagerness to identify with qualities

  • that they believe symbolise youthfulness, rebelliousness, hatred of authority.

  • Companies that exploit the image, Barthes explains, introduce a 'second order signification'

  • – a new myth, one that symbolises something different.

  • It's an image drained of real meaningone that no longer refers to the revolutionary's

  • real beliefs. Before long, the famous photograph is appropriated

  • to sell all sorts of products – t-shirts, beer, even washing powder.

  • So when Sofia goes to a shop and buys a t-shirt with our revolutionary's face on it, she

  • thinks she's making a statement about her individualism, rebellion and anti-capitalism.

  • When in truth, the image is now a capitalist commodity. By buying the t-shirt, she buys

  • into that conformity. It's the sort ofrebellionher bourgeois

  • society is happy to live with. Popular culture has taken a real person whose real ideas posed

  • real danger, and turned him into an image which, Barthes would point out, has been safely

  • reinvented as 'myth'. Roland Barthes's writings have had a huge

  • influence on the ways that critics seek to deconstruct and examine meaning. A more detailed

  • examination of his ideas can be found in the Macat Analysis.

Welcome to the Macat Multimedia Series. A Macat Analysis of Roland Barthes's Mythologies.


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B1 中級

ロラン・バルトの神話学入門-マカット文学の分析 (An Introduction to Roland Barthes's Mythologies - A Macat Literature Analysis)

  • 14 1 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日