International Žižek Studies Conference
Organização: International Journal of Žižek Studies; University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP)
Local: Cincinnati, OH (Estados Unidos)
Data: 4 a 6 de abril de 2014
Ideology and discourse of capitalism in contemporary media: the illusion of subjective agency
CASTRO, J. C. L.
Resumo: Ideology is the crucial issue for a discussion of the relationship between Žižek and media. If in the conventional sense ideology corresponds to an illusory viewpoint, we can say that, for him, contemporary ideology is a kind of “enlightened” illusion, related to cynicism and perversion. In this paper, it is conceived as an apparent appreciation of subjective agency, unfolding in four different ways – the illusions of transparency, activity, freedom, and transgression – and related to Lacan’s concept of discourse of capitalism. The illusion of transparency, or the illusion of lack of illusion, points out to the alleged unbelief of those who Lacan labels “non-dupes”. The illusion of activity manifests itself in the phenomenon which Žižek calls “interpassivity”. The illusion of freedom can refer to the freedom of choice, the possibility of choosing between media products or between commodities advertised by the media, which disguises what in fact amounts to an imperative of choice. It refers as well to the freedom to realize a fantasy, for instance to take different identities, even though these identities are defined ultimately according to the goods acquired. The illusion of transgression manifests itself, for example, in the ever more audacious and provocative content found in fashion advertising campaigns. In the various dimensions it assumes in contemporary media, the presumed subjective agency is represented by the ambiguous place of the barred subject in Lacan’s discourse of capitalism. On the one hand, it occupies the dominant position and commands the master signifier. On the other hand, it is determined directly by the object, which is the true motor of this social link, so the subjetive agency appears at last as illusory.
Palavras-chave: ideology, discourse of capitalism, media, subjective agency, Žižek, Lacan.