The article in question dwells upon the issues concerning representation in terms of gender. The author tries to come up with the most appropriate pattern of representation of the woman. Chow concludes that representation as well as self-representation is subjective and interconnected with such notions as ethnicity, race, class, etc. The author starts the article with a strong argument.
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He states that human societies often rely on the system of signs which presupposes “hierarchization and evaluation” (Chow 38). Humans make out specific signs that stand for specific ideas, notions, phenomena, etc. The author proceeds by defining representation in terms of gender.
The researcher notes that women should be seen as equal to men (as both represent human beings), though they are often regarded as inferior to males. Thus, the author comes to a very important conclusion.
He tries to define those who are engaged in development of representation. The author claims that representation of women is worked out by men in terms of imperialistic Western cultures (Chow 42).
The author concludes that if representation is such a subjective phenomenon, people should rely on self-representation. The researcher states that people have already acknowledged benefits of self-representation as such works as diaries, memoirs and auto-biographies have gained popularity.
Chow also argues that self-representation can be regarded as the result of the democratization of Western societies (44). The author also provides Foucault’s ideas concerning self-representation. Chow also claims that self-representation has become non-representative as people tend to depict ‘imaginary’ selves. The author also refers to Spivak’s ideas concerning representation of women.
The author provides particular examples which vividly illustrate the researcher’s ideas. One of the brightest examples is the way pornography is seen by different people. The author argues that this can be regarded as a kind of representation and self-representation. Chow concludes that representation of women is closely connected with such notions as inequality, class, religion, ethnicity, etc.
The article in question touches upon very disputable issues. These issues are also considered in other works. For instance, Brenda J. Allen focuses on issues concerning self-identity and self-representation (228).
The author argues that it can be difficult to find oneself, though it is crucial for self-development and self-realization. Another work also touches upon issues concerning self-identity (Wong(Lau) 267). The author notes that race, class and gender are interconnected.
The author also deals with the importance of self-identity in terms of these notions. One more work focuses on the racial aspect of self-representation (Harris 240). Notably, though the major focus is made on race, the author also pays a lot of attention to gender and class. All these works contribute greatly to the development of the overall discourse concerning gender and self-identity.
Thus, it is possible to claim that researchers have developed a particular vision of self-representation claiming that such notions as class, gender, ethnicity and race are interconnected.
Admittedly, the articles mentioned are important in terms of Communication Studies as they help to focus on really important issues that influence the way people see themselves and others. Of course, representation and self-representation shape communication strategies to great extent.
The article under consideration focuses on the issue concerning women’s representation in the human society. Interestingly, Chow mentions various scenarios that depend on ethnicity and cultural peculiarities. Thus, Chow also touches upon issues concerning oriental viewpoints on the matter (47).
However, it is possible to note that Chow is somewhat too theoretical, i.e. the author focuses on trends rather than real life experiences. Other works on the issue can become a good illustration for the ideas revealed by Chow. For instance, Bowen reveals her own experiences which can be illustrative in terms of women’s representation and self-representation (41).
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The author recounts her upbringing and the way she adopts feminist values. Bowen claims that being a Jewish girl she had to live in the men’s world where women were seen as somewhat inferior members of the society. However, she manages to rethink her role in the society. Likewise, Hoda Al-Mutawah considers the role of women in the men’s world (36).
The author also focuses on the way women are represented in the Muslim world. The author reveals the way she has changed her perspectives. Al-Mutawah provides her own experience which can be the necessary illustration to such theoretical approaches as Chow’s perspective. Admittedly, the three works are of exclusive importance for the field of Communication Studies.
These articles provide insights into the development of representation and self-representation of women across the world. The articles reveal experiences of women who develop specific outlooks on the basis of certain cultural peculiarities and contemporary trends.
These articles also help to understand the ways contemporary women see themselves in the society. This understanding can definitely help to work out specific communicative patterns. The articles can help people understand the contemporary values to communicate effectively with people pertaining to other groups (in terms of ethnicity, gender, etc.).
Discussion question: Based on the Chow’s article, reveal similarities and differences between representation and self-representation of women in the contemporary society.
Allen, Brenda J. “Sapphire and Sappho: Allies in Authenticity.” Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Eds. Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. New York, NY: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2011. 228-233. Print.
Al-Mutawah, Hoda. “Women and Islam: A Muslim Feminist Perspective.” Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Eds. Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. New York, NY: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2011. 35-41. Print.
Bowen, Sheryl Perlmutter. “Jewish and/or Woman: Identity and Communicative Style.” Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Eds. Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. New York, NY: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2011. 41-47. Print.
Chow, Rey. “Gender and Representation.” Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century. Ed. Elisabeth Bronfen and Misha Kavka. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2001. 38-57. Print.
Harris, Tina M. “I Know It Was Blood: Defining the Biracial Self in a Euro-American Society.” Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Eds. Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. New York, NY: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2011. 239-244. Print.
Wong(Lau), Kathleen. “Working Through Identity: Understanding Class in the Context of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender.” Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Eds. Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen. New York, NY: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2003. 266-271. Print.