New PDF release: Authority and transgression in literature and film

By Bonnie Braendlin, Hans Braendlin

Famous students within the fields of literature and movie tackle the problems of authority and transgression as sociocultural phenomena, discussing such themes as female and male sexuality, socioeconomic formations, historical past and fantasy, the relative strength of fictionality, style, canon formation, cinematic conventions, and conventions of educational discourse.  

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Whaley shows how the two works lend themselves to a reading in the context of Peter Berger's theory of a sociology of knowledge. A social knowledge has a totalizing tendency, but its stability depends on the legitimacy of the meanings that inform a society's objective structures. When this legitimacy is questioned, the structures of subjective consciousness change and are in need of new objectivities. At this point, a social knowledge becomes unstable, and the coercive power retained by objective structures is met by a Page 9 "terror of anomie" caused by the imbalance of objectivation and internalization.

There must be some mistake, Cardinal. 7 Rather, the fundamental distinction is the capacity for love, sentiment, tender feeling. I'll take each text in turn. The cover of Heather Has Two Mommies has a sunny yellow background. In the center, a little blond girl romps happily in Page 15 some flowers. Her partner is a dog that looks like a silly, safe, good wolf who would protect Little Red Riding Hood from the meanies of the species. The first paragraph of the story evokes the Garden of Eden. This allusion, like Heather's name, reinforces Heather's place in the genre of the pastoral idyll.

Women and a gender-neutral technology control all the rest. Not only can the narrative provoke a hostile interpretation of Heather's birth as "unnatural," but it can also stimulate a fierce castration anxiety. The story of Heather's daddy, present in her genetic makeup but absent in every other way, renders Heather Has Two Mommies a more transgressive text than Daddy's Roommate, the book that survived the alteration of the Rainbow Curriculum. The cover illustration of Daddy's Roommate also depicts a pastoral idyll.

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