Saturday, July 23, 2005

Weblogs: The Rules and The Big Other

(via Dictionary of Concepts)

'Rule Girls' are heterosexual women who follow precise rules as to how they let themselves be seduced (accept a date only if you are asked at least three days in advance etc). Although the rules correspond to customs which used to regulate the behaviour of old-fashioned women actively pursued by old-fashioned men, the Rule Girls phenomenon does not involve a return to conservative values: women now freely choose their own rules -- an instance of the 'reflexivisation' of everyday customs in today's 'risk society'. According to the risk society theory of Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and others, we no longer live our lives in compliance with Nature or Tradition; there is no symbolic order or code of accepted fictions (what Lacan calls the 'Big Other') to guide us in our social behaviour.

Lacan called this objectivised knowledge -- the symbolic substance of our being, the virtual order that regulated intersubjective space -- the "Big Other". [Tot., p. 254]

The Lacanian "Big Other" does not designate merely the explicit symbolic rules regulating social interaction, but also the intricate cobweb of unwritten "implicit" rules. [Tot, p.141]


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