Monday, November 08, 2010

Free Citizens or Cultural Dupes (Essay Plan)

This is an essay plan, set out to understand whether I'm an active agent or a cultural dupe? In the answer I need to make reference to key texts we have studied and also the Orson Welles’ film F For Fake.

The question wants me to identify whether I’m an active agent or a cultural dupe. Do I feel compelled to buy and use products even though I can see through what is regarded as the triumph of advertising in the culture industry? For week 4 we discussed Popular Culture vs Mass Culture: Free Citizens or Cultural Dupes. We looked specifically at the critique of a key group of critical theorists (Max Horkheimer, Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin) who employed a neo-Marxist approach to interrogate culture after the second World War. We also watched a film screening of the Orson Welles film, F For Fake (1974).

I'm going to conduct research by analysing key texts; I mentioned Max Horkheimer, Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin when I identified what was expected from the essay question. I also want to identify other key figures and research through the library catalogue and expand on the indicative reading list and include references from Dialectic of Enlightenment. I want to reference mediation in Marxist theory which refers to the reconciliation of two opposing forces within a given society. I also aim to look at the references in the bibliographies of these texts as they will provide ideas about how to extend my own research. From the film screening of the Orson Welles film, F For Fake (1974) I want to analyse perhaps the most celebrated segment of the film, treating the power of art and the nature of authorship. Welles narrates a montage sequence of the medieval French landmark, Chartres Cathedral. The film poses many questions; It's pretty but is it art? How is it valued? Who’s the expert? Who’s the faker? I want to analyse these questions and provide an interpretation which will relate to the question about whether I’m an active agent or a cultural dupe. I will use the Harvard Style adopted by Leeds Metropolitan University and adhere to it strictly.

After I have completed research, I will follow the basic structure to present my findings; a brief introduction and include the thesis statement, the main body which will include the theme and develop the argument whilst referencing the material and providing evidence, and the conclusion will be a summation of the essay question and I will provide a clear idea of how I have reached the outcome.

I will begin constructing the bibliography at the planning stage and allow it to evolve as the essay does. The author-date or ‘Harvard’ method of referencing is the standard at Leeds Metropolitan University. Harvard has the advantages of flexibility, simplicity, clarity and ease of use, both for author and reader. Sources are cited in the body of the text and listed alphabetically in the bibliography or list of references.