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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pigs Is Pigs: The Ideology of Violence
by Suire, Phillip Joel, M.A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2015, 92; 10002400
Abstract (Summary)

Pigs is Pigs: The Ideology of Violence aims first to establish a theoretical framework whereby a model of Ideology can be apprehended, a model through which the phenomenon of violence can be—as it were—filtered. Relying heavily on the work of both Classical and Post-Marxist philosophers—from Engels to Žižek—the text attempts to describe a model for understanding Ideology that is underlined by two critical distinctions: firstly, that Ideology should be understood to constitute one’s more or less spontaneous relationship with a culture’s Symbolic Order, and, secondly, that one of Ideology’s most critical functions is to behave as an apparatus whereby the very meaning of an event or image can be suddenly fixed (if only ephemerally) amid the experience of phenomena’s unravelling along a metonymic chain of many possible meanings.

Thereafter, the text endeavors to consider the origins of what human beings consider to constitute “violent behaviors,” exploring both the biological and socio-cultural roots of violent phenomena through the research of experts such as Richard Wrangham, Sara Mathew, Adrian Raine, and Steven Pinker. This exploration culminates in a defense of the importance of differentiating violence from power, concluding with an interrogation of the sophisticated ways in which these two phenomena overlap and interact—fixing violence as a phenomenon that can be understood in terms of an ideological category, an elaborate psychosocial apparatus whereby consent for the use of force is manufactured by quasi-Foucauldian “regimes of knowledge.”

In other words, how is it that one comes to differentiate between the “freedom fighter” and the “terrorist”? What ideological mechanisms are in action at those points where there emerge disagreements as to whether certain actions are heroic or barbaric? Pigs Is Pigs makes the claim that such distinctions are in large part manufactured in the workshops of our ideas.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goodwin, Jonathan
Commitee: Huey, Caroline, Wu, Yung-Hsing
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Literature, Philosophy
Keywords: Critical theory, Ideology, Marxism, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Violence
Publication Number: 10002400
ISBN: 978-1-339-41910-7
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