Capitologies

In Mythologies, Barthes uses  some “myths” to semiotically analyse some cultural aspects. The texts that I’ll talk about have two words in common: Burgeoise and French. Therefore, they mainly discuss the development  and dominance of  Capitalist ideologies especially in the culture of the  French society.

In Toys, Barthes states that toys are a  microsm of adult world and they play a role in implanting certain ideas to prepare kids from their childhood to deal with it and face them as well  in future as wars for example. On the other hand, they divide their roles according to their gender from this point they impose a male dominated concept as dolls prepare the little girl for the causality of house-keeping, to ‘condition’ her to her future role as mother. On the other hand, burgeois dominance is noticed in the  of  new materials used for toys not putting in mind if their risky or not as the main purpose is to sell and this is one of the main characteristics of consumerism introduced by Capitalism. I think toys help kids to improve their intellectual  abilities as well as broadening their imagination because through them they create their own world that’s why I don’t agree with Barthes in the point  when he said that they make kids owners not creators.

In Striptease, the role of women in burgeoise French society is discussed in a way through this  dance which is according to Barthes is  not erotic but at the same time it is used to please  a certain social class by the use of exotic accesories by female dancers  who belong to the same class as well. Here the role of female is reducedt o sexuality(the ongoing stereotype). In this point I agree that there is categorization of art  according to social class  because in Egypt belly dance is categorized according to the class of the viewers as well as that of the belly dancer herself. Even the way of dressing is different, for example if it’s a wedding in a five stars hotel would be much more elegant than that in the street.

In Wine and Milk,  Barthes talks about the significance of wine and its function to different social classes. Although wine, is a very important element of the French culture, French Capitalistic ideology in this part relies in the exploitation of other lands to produce it.

In Blue Guide, Barthes mentions that propagandas for tourism of countries are controlled by burgeois ideologies eliminating important geographical and historical points to the mere fact to check which sells more. I totally agree with this point because when I think about Latin American culture for example, Inca and Maya are the main indigenous tribes known or studied although there are hundreds more. Besides, when we talk about Egypt for example, the only thing that comes to anyone’s mind are the Pyramids as if they were the only exisiting monument eliminiatng other crucial historical moments as than those of the Pharaonic Era.

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4 Responses to Capitologies

  1. R. Baptista says:

    Hello Doaa, very interesting your blog. I like how you point the fact that is so related the word French with bourgeoisie. In fact I think Barthes is talking from a class (hablando desde su clase) when he speaks about French wine. In the other hand Inca is a controversial word-concept (Inca was a ruling class ‘dynasty’ not a culture and not sure if could be in the category of a tribe… and Maya is totally the opposite, a civilization, so I’m not very sure about the tribe thing…)

    • doaa25 says:

      Thanks for your comments. Regarding the”tribe” part, from an anthropological point of view, didn’t these civilizations start as tribes?

      • R. Baptista says:

        well as you said “starts” but Maya and Inca are already a concepts beyond tribes… and I’m not sure what exactly are the elements of a tribe… Or maybe we are all just part of different tribes? I don’t know…

  2. Jon says:

    “I think toys help kids to improve their intellectual abilities as well as broadening their imagination because through them they create their own world”

    Isn’t the point that for Barthes toys can do this, but many toys encourage children rather to “create” the world as it already exists, peopled for instance with nurses and fire-fighters and policemen etc.

    Barthes surely welcomes toys that encourage creativity; he merely points out that so many in fact want merely to be “used.”

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