Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):295-311 (1988)
|Abstract||Abstract The Me as a socially constructed self presenting itself, is the subject of new conceptual interest. Discourse analysis is the preferred tool for analysis of the linguistic repertoires that we use to order the experience of our selves. But we also present ourselves visually, with some care. An attempt is made to apply a kind of discourse analysis to self?portraits by eminent photographers. Within the process of portraiture and the rules of the pose, professionals should be able to present their true visions of themselves. Specific dilemmas are likely. While women have been the site of many contradictions in themselves as a sight, men in their images must be prepared to bear the castrating power of ?the look?. It might even be that in some romantic sense, there is the revelation of an authentic, spontaneous self. A set of ten examplars is interpreted, ranging from 1901 to 1986. The photographic evidence for men clearly shows situational self?characteristics in terms of the role of the photographer in the period. Although the women included are comparable in status, using the non?verbal interpretative models of Goffman and Wex, they rather demonstrate signs of the conventional submissive feminine identity. Such an analysis of visual discourse cannot decide on the degree of awareness in the presentations. Further the interpretations are as open to rational contradiction as other forms of discourse analysis|
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