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Discuss English band Blur's textual representations of British national identity, and analyse to what extent these representations are ideologically constructed.

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DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE PROPOSITION: Discuss English band Blur's textual representations of British national identity, and analyse to what extent these representations are ideologically constructed. PLAN: 1000 words in five paragraphs, in ordered reasons structure. PARAGRAPH 1 STRATEGY: Problematic nature of national identity. SUMMARY: Discusses the problematic nature of defining national identity by defining the terms identity and culture. Suggests that in terms of cultural identity, the cultural concepts class, gender and ethnicity are the definitive factors. PARAGRAPH 2 STRATEGY: Demise of nation, thus national identity. SUMMARY: Discusses globalisations effect on the concept of nation and on ethnic cultures. States Blur reject the dominance of global culture, thus texts are resistant to the dominant ideologies within our culture. PARAGRAPH 3 STRATEGY: Ideological representations of class and age constructed through semiotics. SUMMARY: Analyses text A and discusses the representational strategies from a semiotic point of view. Explores the ideology of youth that is at work within the text and discusses the irony of this ideology's implications. PARAGRAPH 4 STRATEGY: Blur's paradigm alludes to a Britain of the past, in terms of ideologies. SUMMARY: Briefly discusses the state of Britain's economy in the late, modernist period and concludes Blur are aligning themselves with, and supporting the class structures of this time, by drawing upon ideologies relating to national pride. ...read more.


Trans-national businesses have penetrated every nations border; mass media has enabled culture to be shared and swapped across the globe at an unprecedented rate. Indigenous/ethnic cultures are virtually powerless against the dominance of the new global culture. It seems that Blur resist the dominance of this global culture, and instead advocate the reconstruction of national identity, through representations that have an ideological basis. The ideologies behind the representations depicted in Text A are constructed by way of semiotics. The text is a magazine cover, which features Blur's lead singer Damon Albarn, wearing a school uniform against the backdrop of a diagonally turned, Union Jack. The uniform worn by Albarn is that of the "average" British high school, certainly not that of a public (private) or grammar school. This representation alludes to the discourse of class, but more significantly, the ideology of youth/age. Hartley: "ideology is seen as the practise of reproducing social relations of inequality within the sphere of signification and discourse."(p104) The concept of "youth" is completely a post-modern construct. In late-capitalist societies such as our own, youth are portrayed to be the innovators and reformers, and have therefore come to be thought of as more useful and productive than their older counterparts. Youth, also, have come to be thought of as being the only group within society who can inspire change. ...read more.


This is significant as pop, along with all musical styles, is becoming increasingly americanised. The ideology of nation, and national pride are therefore being represented to create identity through Blurs textual and musical invocations of nostalgia for a Britain gone-by. They are enabled further by ideologically constructed representations pertaining to class such as the steam engine, which is a particularly strong symbol of the working class. These representations are actually at odds with the ideologies the hegemony of today. A very exclusive identity of Britain is depicted in Text C. The text depicts a greyhound race, "going to the dogs," as it is known in Britain is a particularly white, working class, male activity. Blur's paradigm excludes non-whites, women and those who do not belong to the working class, thus suggesting that these people do not play a part in the shaping of British identity. This is obviously inaccurate, therefore the representations that are constructed by Blur's paradigm have ideological basis in a resistant reading of the culture. A dominant, ideological reading of the culture, through the paradigm of reality television, depicts various groups of people within society and constructs its version of national identity through them. Thus, although it is still a culturally, constructed representation of national identity, it is more inclusive and therefore, to some extent, more accurate. ...read more.

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