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    Case Study on Foucault's Discourse: Culture & Identity

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    Please help me so that I can complete the assignment below:

    Isabella and Renee are both freshman at New Town University. They have been assigned as roommates in the dorm. Prior to moving in, they engage in a telephone conversation about how they will decorate and furnish their room. Note the following:

    Both girls are of Irish descent, but their experiences, status, knowledge, and skill sets are radically different.

    Isabella is a poor child growing up with five siblings on a farm in rural Mississippi. She is attending college on an academic scholarship.
    Renee is the only child of a wealthy classical musician in New York City. Her grandparents established a college fund for her when she was a newborn which will fully fund her education.
    Isabella from Mississippi knows how to hunt, fish, and clean a gun, attends public school, and socializes only with other white children who attend the same church.
    Renee attended a private high school where she played soccer and the cello and socialized with many people from diverse cultures.
    Isabella has an acute awareness of the natural world and is fond of pets and other animals.
    Renee spends most of her time inside a building or on public transportation and is very much a part of the high-tech world.
    When asked about current world events, Isabella responds with opinions that reflect the predominant commentary in her social environment. Renee gives a more lengthy response that emphasizes her personal opinions.
    Develop a one to two page paper in which you outline the dialogue held between Isabella and Renee over the decorating and furnishing of their college dorm room.


    Renee: Well, I was thinking that we might....

    Isabella: That would be okay, but how about.....

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    Solution Preview

    Your solution is presented below. The word attachment is a better version, print it as your guide. I wrote a bit about discourse' relation to identity creation & socialization so that you can better appreciate the conversation I contrived below. You may adapt from it for your own interpretation.

    Identity Creation via Discourse

    Foucault's work on Discourse & Language focuses our attention on how via discourse an individual creates meanings for himself and for those around him, contributing to knowledge creation via his perceptions of objects & situations confronting him, drawing from experience & observation and enforcing his socialization via the meanings created over the discourse engaged ultimately contributing to a validation of the individual's identity. For Foucault, in every discursive endeavour, an individual seeks to participate in a dialogue that is at once

    "...controlled, selected, organized and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is "to avert its powers and its dangers, to cope with chance events, to evade its ponderous, awesome materiality."
    - Prof. J.Lye, on Foucault's Discourse, 1999

    For Social-philosopher Richard Rorty, everything exists through language. Language allows one the ability to interpret & make sense of the world around him by creating meanings to signify what once was an abstract thought, allowing for a concrete interpretation that contributes to knowledge creation. At the same time, Rorty also indicates that language, or the ability to communicate & make logical sense of the reality confronting us every day, while it is without condition what enables us to create identities, build communities & develop as an individual & part of a social group is also what limits us. We can only interpret & make sense of the world as far as language allows us to. Phenomenologists go as far as indicating that the reality we understand and live in is perhaps only part and partial of what is really before us since we are limited in our understanding of the world via the manner with which we reinterpret what we experience and see through our thoughts & our discourses which are all encapsulated in our ability to use language to express ourselves.

    Adapting & Surviving via Language

    The situation you indicated above is a situation familiar to me and to just about any college/university students who for the first time are leaving familiar environments to pursue an academic life in a university/college setting. Part and parcel of that academic pursuit is a move into shared apartments & student dormitories to allow for proximity to classes. The college/university life higher learning students allow for a socializing experience partly designed to train them for full independence & responsibility as productive citizens of society, an eventuality that adulthood and maturity brings upon the onset of graduation. While it is true that a number of higher-learning students are already used to independence & responsibility without the 'practice' that is initially beset them upon the onset of independence (that is, living away from home & becoming responsible for one's academic life) which undoubtedly a full academic load in a university brings, a number of higher-learning students, especially the entering freshman are new to the idea. It brings excitement at independent living & fears at coping due to the popular culture image of dorm & college life.
    From the information that you have given me above on the character of Isabella & Renee, I decided to divide the topics of their conversation into 4 parts, each discourse focused on particular issues that would allow for similarities & ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution uses the principles of Discourse as theorized by Foucault where he proposed that it is through discourse that meaning & identity in cultures are created - language is a tool at meaning creation & words are at times arbitrary. It is through discourse, conversation & debates that individuals 'create' who they are & 'identify' their views & position in the world in the manner by which they contribute to 'knowledge of them of the world & their knowledge on the realities that confront them'. The solution creates a conversation between two would-be college room mates. In the conversation they plan their room & its design & in the rocess get to know each other and present who they are to each other by their opinions & preferences, giving us a view of their culture & their socializations.