Post Structuralism Literary Theory: Crash Course (UGC NET English)



hello people welcome to my channel I'm Arpita Carver and in this video I'm going to talk about post-structuralism or deconstructionism now in the previous video if you remember I talked about structuralism and I'm so amazed to see the kind of response have got my the comment section is flooded with messages where students are saying that after this video they have fallen in love with structuralism and now structuralism is their new best friend in the English literature so I was so overwhelmed that I thought that why not make another video on post structuralism and deconstructionism which is another frightening area of English literature so in this video I'm going to talk about post structuralism and how is it different from structuralism let's just have a quick recap of what structuralism was structuralism basically talked about the relationship of sign that is signifier and signified and we found that the relationship is culturally constructed there is no universal relationship that is why we know it has an arbitrary relationship apart from that we also looked at the concept of binary opposition we also looked at the great structureless thinker Ferdinand de Saussure and his work where he talked about different different theories of structuralism now we are going to look at post structuralism now before we move on and look at the principles of post-structuralism it is most important to look at this work post structuralism in detail what does this term this word post structuralism symbolize now there are two ways you can write it if you've read Peter Berry's beginning theory you must have understood that somewhere he writes post structuralism with a hyphen in between and somewhere he writes post structuralism without in – now how are these two terms different or are they just two ways of writing the same thing no let me tell you there's a very slight difference between these two ways of writing post structuralism post-structuralism with – and middle symbolizes a literary period suppose there was modernism okay and then came post-modernism now post-modernism with the – means something which started around 1945 and which lasted till 1990 that was post-modernism okay now a similar fashion post structuralism is a literary movement which came as a response to structuralism so there's a time period by which we define post structuralism on the other hand when we write post structuralism without a hyphen in between in that case we are referring to the features and traits of post structuralism which still continues today giving you example of post-modernism post-modernism says that the world is fragmented now in spite of the fact that post modernism ended somewhere around 1990s even in today's world in today's 21st century we find that the world is still fragmented and if we want to talk about this fragmentation in the light of porch modernism we are going to use the term post-modernism without a – which would symbolize that the features of post-modernism the trait of post-modernism are being talked about on the other hand if I we say post-modernism Viktor – that means I'm talking about that time frame of 1945 to 1990 and I'm talking about the literary writers who were writing during that time similar fashion post structuralism is a time period whereas post structuralism without – is talking about features or traits that are the basic principles of basic feelings of post structuralist theory now I hope that the difference is clear and this is a very very important the question which can be asked in any River from a literature scholar if you are doing your PhD and post-structuralism or post-modernism or post colonialism and if examiner or the jury finds this term written in your PhD thesis they might ask you that how are these two terms different with – or without – and if you can retain this fact for the rest of your life I'm pretty sure you're going to impress your jury members very well so in order to understand post structuralism you must understand that POE structuralism was a reaction against structuralist movement structureless said that meaning is absolute it is fixed and there's a structure which is followed by language on the other hand post-structuralist then negated all what was said by structureless and they said that the meaning is not so absolute the structure is not so constant and the most important post structuralist thinker was Derry down so Jack Derrida gave a theory of difference if you look at the word difference you will find that it has been made from two words differ and differ therefore means something which is not alike which is changing that is differ what is Deford therefore means to continue something which is in continuation that is differ so according to Davida post-structuralist believed in the fact that the meaning is constantly changing how if I give you three words pin sin and bin in all these three words you'll find that there is something which is constant which is in all the three words that is in I am in is constant in all the three words so that is the component of deafer therefore means something which continues so in is continuing in all the three words on the other hand the first letter sin bin and bin SP and be all the three letters are changing so the first letter is changing rest of the letters are continuing and this is what we call as deferens something which is changing which is different in all three of them the first letter is different something which is continued in all the three letters that is in so this makes deference o amalgamation of before and so if you look at berry does work he has given a lot of terminology in regards to post-structuralism he talks about metaphysics of absence now what is this metaphysics of absence according to Derrida and other post-structuralist thinkers the meaning is changing because of what is absent so if you look at a word where we have a blank and then we have in so this first blank that you can see if we put B if we put P if we put s in the first blank the meaning changes this is what is known as metaphysics of absence that because there's something absent and because of that absent thing the meaning can change okay the meaning of bin and pin is different because the first letter is absent okay so that's metaphysics of absence then HIDA has given a lot of other terminology like a Fourier and then we have lobo centrist ism and so many other theories which are important but since it's a crash course i am only going to talk about the most important theories and most important principles of postdoctoral ism if you wish to study post structuralism in detail you can join our online course are the details of our online course and the course content is given on our website our path Ikaruga com you can go to the website and check out the list of writers that we cover in an online course and we covered literary theory in detail in module number seven where you will find lectures of more than 10 hours on each and every theory so we talk about each writer in detail and we then discuss all the previous your questions on that writer so that you know how to attempt the question after knowing the theoretical base another important principle of structuralism was that everything has a structure there is a relationship of signifier and signified okay on the other hand if you look at the post structuralist thinkers like Lacan he says that there's a constant sliding of signifier and signified you can never reach the ultimate signified okay because every signifier is leading to our another second fired and then to another signifier you will never reach this signified so if you can understand this theory you will understand the playfulness of language okay we say that this is what I meant but actually is it what we mean to say so if you look at this theory you will understand the fact that signifier and signified there's no constant relationship it's ever changing ever evolving my father used to say a very beautiful line when I was young used to always say that when you play with words words play with you that's the basic principle of a good writing you play with words and the words will play with you and you can use these words in various manners and various meanings are going to evolve similarly philosophers have said a beautiful thing that you can never dive into the same river twice what they meant by this that river is ever flowing so when you dive in a river and you come out that water has flowed forward and now when you dive again you'll dive in new water that's what post-structuralist are trying to tell us that when I say somebody I know her if you ask me about my mother I might say that I know her very well but do I actually know her because I knew her a moment back but in one moment she has changed she has evolved as a person and now in this moment I don't know if you have ever seen ECG machines okay where heartbeats are measured you will find that every heartbeat has a different rate okay similarly there are machines which can actually measure the sound quality now when you say a word P okay and next moment when you say P the waves would be different the P that you said in the past moment will have a different wave and in this moment the P wave would be different so see your P has changed so there's nothing fixed that's what deconstructionist are trying to say that you believe that something is fixed but nothing is fixed similarly in the similar fashion deconstructionist say a very beautiful thing that if you are looking at a word if you're looking at of found it changes and it changes so much that you cannot find the relationship between signifier and signified everything has evolved a very good and classic example of deconstructionist thinking is the word being bei ng if you decode this word you will find that it is made of two words be e and ing be e means something which is done if I've done something if I've become something that's be okay ING means a process a continuous process so you can see the word being itself shows that there is no similarity you are and then you are also becoming B and ing being so you are something and you are also becoming so there's nothing fixed Christopher Norris is a beautiful thinker who wrote a work deconstructionist theory in practice and there he talks about all these theories he talks about how everything is constantly changing is in state of flux and thus there is no fixed universal relationship between signifier signified there is no fixed structure everything is sliding beneath one or the other just like my father said that when you play with words words play with you similarly post-structuralist believe that words are always playing with you the meaning is constantly changing the moment you say that I know this the next moment that has changed and then you cannot say that I know it any more because the new meaning has developed from that particular word so meaning of words are constantly changing that is the maintenance of deconstructionist and post-structuralist thinking another principle of post structuralism is that they don't believe in binary opposites if you look at my previous lecture on structuralism I discussed the fact that according to structuralist there's a binary relationship between words in order to understand dullness you need to look at it by understanding what is light so light and darkness they are binary opposite and the meaning of one word is given by it's opposite word similarly if you look at post-structuralist you will find that they don't believe in binary opposite they say that there is no binary opposite existing now technology has altered the way we see the world if you look at private and public you will figure out that now everything is public there's no distinction between private and public if you are don't agree then let me give you a very very good example suppose you post a picture of yours which is a private property on Instagram the next minute it goes viral and it becomes a public property so how is your picture which was private is now public there's no distinction between private and public anymore similarly in 21st century we find that gender is also not fixed a person who is female can have masculine traits then there are the concepts of transgendered so you can see that there is no binary opposite existing anymore and that is how they ridicule the structuralist idea of binary opposite another important thing proposed by structuralist was that speech is superior to writing they said that speech is better and writing is inferior but post-structuralist did not believe in this point they said that speech and writing both are complementary and they even went ahead saying that writing a superior dense speech how come their structureless would say that a child first learns to speak and then he is able to write but then on the other hand post-structuralist say that suppose there's a letter which looks like this which i have put on the screen now can you pronounce it can you speak it no you cannot because it is not written in your memory it's not written in your brain so whenever we learn something it is first written and only then we are able to speak a child knows who is a father when he writes the image of father in his brain and only they he can say the word father so according to post oxalates in this debate our of whether speaking is better or writing is better they say that writing is superior to speech just like there was a constant debate between who came first is it the chicken or the egg we still don't know whether it was chicken or the egg similarly post-structuralist believe that it is writing which comes first and then speaking on the other hand structuralists say that it's the speech which is superior and writing which is inferior so if you look at all these theories which I just presented in front of you you will understand that post structuralism is basically a literary movement which negate or faults or say that all the theories of structuralist are false so when they are actually giving a counter-argument of all the structuralist theories that moment is known as post structuralism or deconstructionism post structuralism does not end with the works of Lacan and Derrida there are a lot of other thinkers who have given their significant contribution in the field of post structuralism one such writer is Mikkel Foucault who gave this beautiful quotes that power circulates in all direction and it talks about power sexuality in his work order of thing birth of cleaning and we talked about all these major works these major thinkers in detail in our online course the list of all important post structuralist thinkers which you must study for UGC net exam is given on my website Arpita Karva calm you can go and check the list in the online course content section under module seven and if you really like the layer list then you can join our online course in which we prepare you in a full-fledged manner for UGC net exam also i would like you to note here that we give you a detailed course on all these literary theory these literary theories are interesting as well as fascinating if you study them deeply because these videos are crash courses I would not be able to cover all the concepts I only give you an overview of these theories if you want to get detailed or your lectures you can subscribe to my online course wherein I talked about each of these theories are in detail looking at all the previous your papers as well so that you know how to answer those questions based on the theoretical base if you have not yet followed me on the social media platforms it's time to do that because we are posting Freenet quiz and we are also posting net updates for the upcoming net exam apart from that if you've not yet subscribe to the YouTube channel what should you not do it right now because next week we are going to post another video another crash course on literary theory and it's a surprise for you it's very interesting and it's very fascinating so if you want to get notified about the upcoming video then do subscribe to the channel and also click on the bell items so that you are notified with that note I would like to take your leave that's it for this video lecture till the time we meet next happy loading keep loving literature stay tuned to our category calm

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