2017 Steve Campsall


 

BINARY OPPOSITION

        STAGE TWO: MEANING AS DIFFERENCE


The second key insight of this theory is that we gain meaning from something not from the direct qualities of the thing in itself but from a difference between the thing and what is called its cultural or binary opposite.

  • This is not to say that reality does not exist. Binary opposition is concerned with the way that meaning is interpreted.
     

  • Males are, of course - as the cartoon reminds us - somewhat different biologically from females; but when we think of those terms we tend not to think biologically but culturally, of manhood and womanhood. It is at this level that binary opposition works to colour our interpretation in powerful ways. Whew! Still on board?