Thursday, March 08, 2001
Last night I read Ian Buchanan(1999): "Deleuze and Cultural Studies" in Buchanan, Ian (ed): A Deleuzian Century, Duke University Press. I liked some of what he wrote, like (p 114) "A Deleuzian cultural studies would, I am sure, begin with the question of the subject, but it would not ask, what is a subject? Rather, as we have just seen, it would ask how does one become a subject?" The part I have problems with is his claim that cultural studies reduces the subject by trying to understand what it is. Perhaps I have misunderstood something about Cultural Studies, but I thought it wasn't asking "what is the subject" at all, but rather: "how is the subject active and relates to its context?" Studying the acts of the object of study and how the object is being created to me looks equally "objectifying" (or not objectifying. Is there a word for subjectifying?). To quote Bucanan again: "So long as we insist on examining subjects in terms of an ostensive "what is", we will continue to objectify them - perception, itself, objectifies." I agree with him on that critizism of sociology, but I feel he's aiming at the wrong part of social oriented studies when he attacks the cultural studies for this objectification.