Critical rethinking of the past: who are the "white dead men"






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Even today you can hear that all the major discoveries and achievements in the field of culture — the conquest of the male half of humanity. However, white and, usually, heterosexual men not only created the culture, but also continue to define canons and standards of assessment. T&P to explain what it means and what deconstruire popular in critical theory, the expression of the Dead white men.

Who has shaped world culture and society?

Representatives and representatives of various minority groups discriminated against often hear a reproach that the members of the communities to which they belong, never really had an impact on the development of society in General and culture in particular, and thus gave a reason to predict that in the future with their hand, this effect will be there. Because of the lack of ability to be active and God knows what else. And indeed: from antiquity to our time almost every brick laid in the Foundation of the building, which is modern culture, is a white male, in most cases, already had time to die, this act and its achievements earned immortality. Some white men achievements and conquests have shaped history, other white men have documented and extolled their exploits, and others were perceived both as a role model, and continued their business.

Where does the term?

I remember a British film A Matter Of Life And Death 1946: the main character is intended to die, and to challenge his sentence in the Highest heavenly Court, he chooses the counsel of all who have ever lived great men, great monuments which lined the staircase leading to the afterlife. Do I need to explain that there are no statues depicting people who would not fit into the definition of "Dead white men" — a definition with some time in American and in General Western cultural and philosophical discourse and one cannot say that he has a positive connotation.

The term is a reference to the Theory of great men that have appeared and enjoyed great popularity in the nineteenth century: one of its main supporters was the philosopher and historian Thomas Carlyle, author of "Heroes honoring heroes and the heroic in history." He and other members of the discourse admired great personalities, claimed that all the achievements of civilization — the result of a certain number of prominent people, and contrasted these people senseless mass of grey. This theory was questioned in the days of its distribution. What can we say about the present time, when for many it is obvious that it is the totality of human effort brings the most impressive results. Critical rethinking of the past is the key to development.

Criticizing this concept?

Using the term "Dead white men" at the same time criticized and look at Western culture and the so-called "high culture" as the only noteworthy and crucial to the progress of mankind, and draws attention to the fact that the ability to influence society — a privilege that until recently had representatives from a fairly wide group of people, but the kind of elite dominant over the others.

In addition, this concept deconstruire system clear hierarchy and unquestioning authority of the classics, which are white, are great and are dead, that they are not accepted to criticize or whatever. By using the expression "Dead white males" as we would say, "Hey, I had nothing to do with them! Why should I watch them with bated breath, and take for granted all that they said?". For example, the American sculptor Janet Scudder at the time, said: "I don't want to join in the mutilation of American cities male narcissism, obsession with forcing all rows of hideous statues of men-men-men, each one more ugly: who is standing, who is sitting, who are on horseback, and every pompous convinced that he adorns the landscape."

Who determines the list of classics?

Needless to say — look at Shakespeare, even Marx, although Freud and so on (abbreviation DWM — Dead White Men — often transcribe and as Durkheim, Weber, Marx): they are all similar and important men fit into the concept of "classics", but even the origin of the word fine indicates the elitism of the phenomenon, as well as on a significant role in the development of the individual external factors along with personal characteristics.

In Ancient Rome, citizens were divided into six groups on the basis of property, and the first five were called classes, and the representatives of the sixth, the most rich are classics. It's clear that in ancient times the members of the other groups could not become classics, whatever qualities they may possess, and during other historical periods up to this time non-white and nemscina had to have to overcome a lot more obstacles on his way to fame. Including not only due to the fact that a lot of roads for these people have always been either completely closed, or the passage on these roads were the most difficult, but also because, as noted above, white males have traditionally not only doing, but also write a story or make up different lists like "the Hundred best writers" or "500 best songs according to the such-that music magazine". Therefore the achievements of people from other categories they are often overlooked and not taken into account. These circumstances and criticism by using the term "Dead white men".

What is needed today is the term?

Why is it necessary, given that they all played a role and had already died? Because now the society is still at the level where he needs to be reminded that prospects may be several: it is important to understand that, whether those who are always silent, the ability to speak and act, the big events could look very different. And it is important to know that when women and members of minority groups discriminated against will receive their own voice instead of "flattering" the opportunity to be the objects with which white men interact in the process accomplish great things, then they will begin to make history. They have already started — the twentieth century is well demonstrated. published

Source: theoryandpractice.ru

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