Monday, March 20, 2006

text, context, subtext

we finished our lesson on cultural analysis using the tools of text, context and subtext analysis today with my students' presenting their output on their group workshop of 50 Cent's rap song, "In Da Club".

as always happens when real learning is taking place in the classroom, i learn from my own students' sharing and insights, too, and what started out as my own judgmental view of In Da Club's propagated values was transformed into a more compassionate view when two groups of students expounded on how rap music developed as the ghetto black community's counterculture response to prevailing pop culture in 1970s America, detailing their struggles and woes and the sh_t they have to live with day in and day out...

seeing that context now, i immediately saw the lyrics of the song in a more enlightened perspective; that what appeared superficially as bragging about being cool for having so much money and cars and women and casual sex and drugs, can actually mean some sort of a success from the context of ghetto life.

and it led me into quietly reflecting on how many of the misunderstandings and conflicts with other people we have in our lives can be traced to non- or mis-understanding of context (the historical, cultural and even production environment surrounding a text), and focusing only on the text (what is being said) and even the subtext (the implied meaning)...

hmmmm.... more food for thought to chew on as i go deeper in my peace studies, not only academically but personally.

i want the kind of peace i help create to be lived out, by me, day by day, and not just be some abstract theoretical concept or principle ive memorized from some book or lecture somewhere.
Post a Comment