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U VOL 3, ISSUE 2
THE UNDERGRADUATE, AUTUMN 2016, Vol. 3, No. 2. Published by THE UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC JOURNAL. Printed and bound in the UNITED KINGDOM by WILLIAM POLLARD & CO LTD, Exeter, Devon. ISSN 2054-8478
Ancient History & Classics
Business & Economics
English & Film
28 Law 35
Middle Eastern Studies
Theology & Religion
How does music influence culture?
Thibault le Forsonney
FOCUS FEATURE MANAGING EDITOR
Lucy Sanders DIRECTOR OF SPONSERSHIP AND STRATEGY
DIRECTOR OF The Undergraduate Live
Hannah Smithdale PR & MARKETING
Eavie Burnett Roshana Wickremasinghe
Christy Chin PHOTOGRAPHER
Kristianna Nicolaou Lelloucha Hamadache
Alice Timson Thomas Smith Leo Halbert
Charlotte Case Daniele McGrath
ASSISTANT OF The Undergraduate Live
PR & MARKETING
Ashton Wenborn SUBMISSIONS READER
Alexander Wallis Smith
With the help of the outgoing commitee 2015/16:
Caroline Hughes, Rosemary Lennie, Katie Whyte, Joe Powell, Katy Eddie, Natalie Fok, Pria Rai, Anna Romanska, Flora Carr, Jack Rysdale, Charlie Liddle, Jack West-Sherring, Lucy Maguire, Daniel Kibsgaard, Helena Gadsby, Victoria Horbach, Emma Stanworth, Ribka Zerihun, Helena Bennett, Jessica George, Carl Lofthagen, Lewis Saffin, Shiryn Sayani, Tara Martin, Sophie Roberts, Ollie Brown, and Parisa Tork.
F O R E W O R D
With this edition we welcome a new team of committee members to The Undergraduate and The Undergraduate Live. Volume 3, Issue 2 has been a true collaboration between the 2015/2016 team and the incoming team, an invaluable learning experience for us all as we embark on the fourth year of The Undergraduate. Our growth in the past three years is a true indication of the importance of journal at the University of Exeter, as we work to promote undergraduate research in a plethora of academic subjects. Interdisciplinary work has been highlighted for the past three years; and it will continue to be in the coming year. This edition is sadly the last one that The Annual Fund will be funding. I would like to take this chance to thank them for their help as we embark on unfamiliar ground– online crowd funding platforms. Our first campaign started in late April and will conclude on the 15th of June 2016, when we hope to have raised the funds necessary to ensure the journal’s survival and growth in the coming year. It is important that we secure funding to be able to keep the journal free for all students, which is an integral part of our ethos. For this reason, if you have enjoyed this journal as well as previous editions, I urge you to follow us on social media and promote, (if not donate to) our future funding campaigns. The incoming committee for The Undergraduate would like to also thank the Advisory Board for their warm welcome, as well as our Academic Advisors Professor Regenia Gagnier and Dr. Lisa Stead for their continued help and belief in The Undergraduate. We hope that the next academic year will prove to be as fruitful as the last, in terms of the relationship between the journal, our Academic Advisors and the Board. On a final note, I hope you will all enjoy the essays that have been printed in this edition as well as in the online edition. It is also important for me to end this foreword with a massive thank-you to our outgoing President Caroline Hughes, our Editor-in-Chief Rosemary Lennie and our Director of Sponsorship Pria Rai, who were all amazing mentors in the months leading up to this edition. Thank-you!
I must begin by joining Iris in saying a massive thank you to the outgoing committee team; this issue would certainly not be lying open before you if not for their guidance, support and patience throughout the handover process. The Undergraduate Volume 3, Issue 2 is consequently dedicated to them as a celebration of their truly inspiring work on the journal over the years. Moreover, this issue should be regarded as proof of their skill and ability; aside from an invaluable few, most of the incoming team are brand new in their roles, and we have learnt from the best. Our subject editors and submissions readers have assembled a brilliant range of essays in this edition, covering topics from the concept of love to the augmentation of a revolution over social media. With this diverse range of selections very relevant to the world today, the incoming team have already made their mark on The Undergraduate, and I hope they will continue to raise the bar for editorship and teamwork in future editions. I would also like to specifically thank Akash Beri, our Focus Feature editor; this year’s Feature is the shining result of his collaboration both with our internal team and other university-based publications, something we will be doing more of as we move forward. Finally, congratulations if your submission has been published! As always, the team is really impressed with the quality and quantity of essays we have received; this issue’s selections represent the most interesting, accessible and interdisciplinary of the bunch. I encourage everyone to submit your essays if you think they match these criteria, regardless of mark or focus. This collaborative issue marks an evolution of The Undergraduate: whilst the new team will bring a healthy amount of fresh ideas and change to the journal, we will always be reverent of our predecessors and their values. Enough from me – read on, and see this for yourself. Enjoy!
Editor in Chief 2016/17
ANCIENT HISTORY AND CLASSICS Subject Editors: Davide Scarpignato & Helena Leslie
How far do the ancient concepts of eros and amor map onto modern concepts of ‘love’ and ‘lust’?
written by BEN PULLAN in some of the most famous poetry of the ‘Golden Age’ of Latin with modern discourse about ‘love’. In English, we often resort to metaphor to describe the indescribable sensation of amorous attraction to someone. A common trope used to describe love is heat-related imagery. “Burning Love”, a song written by Dennis Linde and brought to fame by Elvis Presley in 1969, contains a plethora of heatrelated erotic imagery; the song includes phrases such as: “Girl, girl, girl, girl / You gonna set me on fire” (5-6) and “I feel my temperature rising / Help me, I’m flaming” (14-15). These lines are reminiscent of images from Latin poetry. In the opening of the second of Virgil’s Eclogues — the master-poet’s first great work, in which he reworks Theocritean material to create his own collection of Bucolic songs about the amorous lives of herdsmen — the poet describes how “formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexim” (Ecl. 2.1). The verb chosen by Virgil — ardeo (‘I am on fire’), which is reflexive — is used unusually here, with a direct object in the accusative, meaning that the shepherd was ‘burning for’ someone — the boy Alexis. This is similar to the image that Linde’s song uses. Over the course of Corydon’s song the intensity of the shepherd’s desire intensifies, until he exclaims: “me tamen urit amor; quis enim modus adsit amori?” (Ecl. 2.68). Virgil explicitly states that amor is the emotion that is ‘burning’ his subject, just as Linde does with ‘love’. The second half of this dactylic hexameter, in which Corydon asks: “what limit can be set for love?”, evokes another notion about ‘love’ commonly expressed in English literature — its timeless, endless quality.
he Latin word amor is usually translated into English as the general concept of ‘love’. Despite there being an obvious degree of correspondence between the two emotions, this broad-brush translation requires nuancing from the reader, due both to the ambiguity of the English word, and the difficulty of ascertaining how far our modern concept of ‘love’ maps onto the Romans’ equivalent. This essay will explore the Roman concept of amor, in order to ascertain where on the spectrum of meanings of our word ‘love’, ranging from simply a sense of “devotion” to “sexual passion”, the Roman concept of amor lies. In order to understand this, it is necessary to compare Roman discourse about amor with English discourse about ‘love’. Therefore, this essay will compare the diction of Latin poetry to lyrics from our own modern love songs, and will display that there is a remarkable similarity between our discourse about ‘love’ and that of the Romans about amor. Though I shall not pretend that this comparative method is failsafe, I will argue that the similarities show that, as plain emotions, Roman amor and English ‘love’ are comparable. However, through an exploration of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta, which despite being written in Greek, is appropriate to this essay due to its date, and the fact that Plutarch was a Roman citizen, this essay will show that the constraints of Roman society meant that the pure emotion of Roman amor could not manifest itself naturally in the manner of modern ‘love’, as couples were forced to learn to love one another in arranged marriages. What is more, as a side effect of this, there was a greater requirement for extra-marital, adulterous relationships, which provided a means for this suppressed natural desire to be exercised. Despite the differences between the realities of modern ‘love’ and Roman amor, a comparison of discourse about the two concepts reveals that, as plain emotions, they are equivalent to each other. I shall illustrate this by comparing depictions of amor
Similar to this image of burning with love, in English we often depict ‘love’ — particularly that which is unrequited — as a sickness or wound. We are wellacquainted with phrases such as ‘love-sick’ and ‘heartbroken’. The Romans similarly often likened the effect of amor on someone to that of a disease or an injury. Arguably the most famous example of this is Dido in Book Four of Virgil’s Aeneid. The book
understanding of how comparable Roman amor is to modern ‘love’: “Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.” (Cat. 85.1-2)
“At regina gravi iamdudum saucia cura vulnus alit venis et caeco carpitur igni.” (Aen. 4.1-2) These two lines are full of fire-related and sicknessrelated imagery. The queen is described as saucia (‘wounded’) with a gravis (‘grave’) burden. Dido feeds the vulnus with her ‘life-blood’ and, evoking the imagery we saw in Eclogues 2, she is ravished (carpitur) by a caeco igni. Dido’s love for Aeneas is an extreme example of excessive amor — so extreme, in fact, that Virgil depicts it as the direct cause of her death. Because of its capacity to harm, and in the case of Dido, kill, amor is often depicted as cruel. Ovid, in Amores 1.6, describes amor as saevus (Am. 1.6.34). Likewise, Virgil himself, through the voice of Pan, in his tenth Eclogue, describes how “Amor non talia curat / nec lacrimis crudelis Amor [saturatur]” (Ecl. 10.28-30). The remarkable consistency with which Roman authors depicted a seemingly positive emotion, amor, as harsh or cruel, may come as a surprise to the modern reader. However, I do not think that it is far removed from our understanding of the modern concept of ‘love’, an emotion that can both fulfil and break someone, in equal measure.
This gem of a couplet says a lot about the comparability of Roman amor to our modern concept of ‘love’. The brilliantly concise opening, odi et amo, shows us not only the antithesis of Roman amor — odium — but also that someone can feel both seemingly conflicting emotions at the same time towards a certain individual. ‘I hate’ and ‘I love’ respectively have traditionally been the usual translations of these two verbs, though not exclusively. Prompted by Rudd’s challenge to his reader to find the perfect translation of this enigmatic couplet, Arkins presses for odi et amo to be: “I loathe her, I lust for her”. This extreme interpretation is influenced by his reading of the Lesbia-poems near to 85, namely 70, 72, 75 and 76, which suggest that Lesbia’s promiscuity negates the speaker’s ability to ‘love’ her as he once did, though he is still physically attracted to her. However, I agree with Nussbaum that Arkins’ interpretation of the epigram does not improve ‘I hate and I love’. Nussbaum points out the omission from Arkins’ exempla of Catullus 87, a poem in which the speaker expresses a very different amor to the ‘lust’ that Arkins suggests: “nulla fides ullo fuit unquam in foedere tanta / quanta in amore tuo ex parte reperta mea est” (Cat. 87.3-4) . Furthermore, Arkins’ interpretation
One of the most famous depictions in Latin poetry of the painful effect of amor, the epigram by Catullus known as “Catullus 85”, is telling in regard to our
of the speaker’s amor as plain physical lust ruins the poem’s impression of the speaker’s emotional turmoil that makes it so relatable to for the modern reader; the ‘love-hate relationship’ is a cliché used often in English. What the speaker goes on to say about love’s intangible and baffling nature is also not unfamiliar to us. The fact that the modern reader can relate to so much of what Catullus says about amor (in its verbal form, amo) in this couplet — how it can stand, hand in hand, with its antithesis, odium (‘hatred’), and how it is hard to define — shows that, in its most basic form, as an emotion, Catullus’ amor is comparable to modern ‘love’. This intangibility of both amor and ‘love’ makes evaluating them as different concepts difficult, but it is also a point of comparison. In the 1984 rock song “I Want to Know What Love Is”, written by Mick Jones, the speaker exclaims the indirect question asked by the song’s title, before pleading with his addressee to “show” him, as he (the addressee) knows how to do this (13-16). Interestingly, some characters from Ovid’s Metamorphoses explicitly do find out the answer to this question. In Book Thirteen, Polyphemus the Cyclops, a character whom, from the Homeric tradition, one would not associate with romance, “quid sit amor sentit validaque cupidine captus / uritur” (‘discovers what love is and, captured by a strong lust, burns’) (Met. 13.762-763). This is significant in regard to where on the scale of meanings of the word ‘love’ amor should be placed. Ovid distinguishes amor from another Roman emotion, cupido, by which Polyphemus has been captured by and is, most likely, the cause of his burning. The personification of this noun, Cupid, is traditionally associated with erotic desire. Wlosok seeks to distinguish between the personified forms of Amor and Cupid by suggesting that the former refers to a general sense of affection or devotion to someone or something, such as his example of a parent to a child, whilst the latter is erotic love, but Ovid’s use of amor here problematises this conclusion. For though Ovid distinguishes amor from cupido, he depicts Polyphemus’ burning desire as a product of his discovery of amor. It seems wrong therefore to exclude erotic love from the different varieties of amor, as Wlosok does. As this essay has shown, romantic ‘love’ and amor (as opposed to, say, ‘love’ / amor of country or family) involve both emotional attachment and erotic attraction.
Indeed it disproves Volk’s assertion that ‘love’ is an emotion defined by culture, distinguished from its physical embodiment, sex; this comparison has shown that, in its natural state, Roman amor is equivalent to modern ‘love’. However, texts from the early imperial period about the ‘real’ world, such as Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, display that, in reality, Roman amor was forced by the constraints of its society to manifest itself in a manner — though sadly not completely alien to the modern reader — we would consider unhealthy, and in no way comparable to our idea of ‘love’. Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta is a treatise on conjugal ideals in the form of a letter to a newlywed couple. Though it is written in Greek, and therefore refers directly to eros rather than amor, its early imperial date, and the fact that Plutarch was a Roman citizen, make it applicable to investigating how Roman amor manifested itself in reality. Nowadays, a marriage or partnership is the strongest embodiment of ‘love’, but Plutarch’s depiction of an ideal marriage in Roman society displays very little of the amor described in our sample of Latin poetry. As part of a simile in which Plutarch compares the initial flickers of eros one might feel for another to how a flame will light kindling quickly, but then burn out just as fast, the biographer writes: “the keen love between newly married people that blazes up fiercely as the result of physical attractiveness must not be regarded as enduring or constant, unless, by being centred about character and by gaining a hold upon the rational faculties, it attains a state of vitality.” (Coniugalia Praecepta 4)
This study has illustrated that, as basic emotions, modern-day ‘love’ and Roman amor are comparable. 10
Plutarch is directly dismissing the amor felt by our characters from Latin poetry, which was so often depicted through this ‘burning love’ imagery. He is encouraging a suppression of the erotic attraction that is such a prevalent characteristic of amor in Latin poetry, and is regarded nowadays as an important factor in any long-term relationship with aspirations of success. Nevertheless, Plutarch’s overarching point — that a successful marriage requires more than just erotic attraction between the two partners — is not alien to us. However, the form in which Plutarch encourages this intellectual bond to manifest itself seems bizarre to the modern reader. Plutarch displays the lowly status of women in the Roman Empire by encouraging the husband to play a didactic role, telling the husband Pollianus:
with prostitutes or full adultery. This side effect of Roman arranged-marriages is most infamously displayed in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, which is an instruction manual in the ‘art’ of extra-marital relationships. In the work’s three books, Ovid plays the role of the “praeceptor amoris” (Ars. Am. 1.17), and instructs his reader (men in books one and two, supposedly women in three) on all aspects of achieving success in an extra-marital relationship — from the best locations to pick up a girl (1.89-170), to how to look your best (3.193-250), to the various sex positions to adopt (3.770-812). This text is made all the more risqué when the social context in which Ovid wrote it is considered. Augustus had been keen to take Rome back to its traditional roots, with a vision of the ideal Roman family similar to that of Plutarch, and had passed a succession of legislation aimed at moral reform in Rome. The passing of the Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis, which made adultery an offence punishable by exile, in 17BC, provided a particularly threatening backdrop to Ovid’s publication of the Ars Amatoria in 2AD.
“you already possess sufficient maturity to study philosophy […] And for your wife you must collect from every source what is useful, as do the bees, and carrying it within your own self impart it to her, and then discuss it with her, and make the best of these doctrines her favourite and familiar themes.” (Coniugalia Praecepta 48)
As Gibson outlines, the kind of amor (for, according to the work’s title, this is what the poet seeks to teach) that Ovid encourages is an unromantic one in which the partners do not become emotionally attached, and therefore do not experience the same pain that our characters from Latin poetry felt. Ovid depicts amor largely as a game of trying to get as much extra-marital sex as possible. We do not associate this detached, pre-planned purely-physical eroticism with ‘love’; sexual pleasure is an important part of ‘loving’ relationships, but alone it is not enough for the feeling to graduate from the physical sensation of erotic ‘pleasure’ to ‘love’ for someone. I therefore disagree with Myerowitz’s assertion of the timelessness of Ovid’s work; contrary to her opinion that, to paraphrase slightly, the Ars Amatoria “speaks to the reader directly”, it is still popular today for the opposite reason, namely that it has a similar appeal to that of the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, which attract great interest from tourists, being a glimpse into a world that, in erotic terms, is alien to our own. Indeed, it is correct to argue that the amor of the Ars Amatoria specifically is a construct of its time, as many scholars do. Though I have disagreed with Volk’s overarching argument that the emotion of ‘love’ is defined by culture (I hope my study of Latin poetry has shown that, as a natural emotion, ‘love’ is timeless), her conclusions on amor and the Ars Amatoria are spot on: “While the Latin word
Though the modern reader can understand Plutarch’s point that some relationships require an intellectual compatibility between each partner, this idea of the husband being in some way the teacher of his wife — a result, largely, of both the likely difference between the ages of each respective partner (Roman girls were often married off young to much older partners) and Roman society’s perception of the female gender as being less suited to intellectual pursuits — is not compatible with our modern understanding of a healthy relationship. Another aspect of Plutarch’s treatise on marriage that is alien to our modern image of a loving marriage is his view on extra-marital relationships. He not only condones the activities of the Persian kings, who when drunk “send their wives away, and send for their music-girls and concubines”, but actively encourages the wife “not to be indignant or angry”, but to “reason that it is respect for her which leads him to share his debauchery, licentiousness, and wantonness with another woman.” (Coniugalia Praecepta 16). This overt licentiousness is the product of the Roman suppressing of natural amor, which we saw being felt by so many characters in poetry. If one follows Plutarch’s advice and seeks to temper the flame of erotic eros in marriage, the result will be a need to stoke the fire elsewhere, presumably through sex 11
amor typically connotes a strong feeling of desire and affection, Ovid for most of the Ars Amatoria uses it instead to refer to the social practice of establishing and participating in sexual relationships”. The amor that Ovid encourages in his manual is not the natural emotion that we saw felt by the characters in our samples of Latin poetry; it is a version of amor that has been forcibly shaped by the oppressive constraints of Augustan society, the product of loveless and most likely arranged marriages, such as Plutarch’s ideal.
as far as saying that the wife should not take offence if her partner does dabble in extra-marital sex. The extent to which Roman society engaged in adulterous sex is made plain in Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, a text that depicts an essentially unromantic amor centred on physical pleasure that is alien to our own concept of ‘love’. Nevertheless, amor and ‘love’ are comparable as plain emotions. A comparison between discourse about amor in Latin poetry and modern discourse about ‘love’ reveals that we say the same things about ‘love’ as the Romans did about amor. There is no need to look for an alternative translation of amor such as ‘lust’; like our modern concept of ‘love’, Roman amor had the power to burn, wound and baffle. As natural emotions, Roman amor and modern ‘love’ are comparable, but the constraints imposed by society meant that amor could not manifest itself naturally, as modern ‘love’ does, resulting in the reality being very different.
Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria tell us that, despite the comparability of Roman amor and modern ‘love’ as natural emotions, the constraints imposed by Roman society demanded that amor manifested itself in reality in a manner alien to the modern reader. From Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta, we see that Roman marriage — the embodiment of modern-day ‘love’ — was very different to our own; Plutarch depicts his ideal marriage as one in which erotic passion is tempered to a minimum, and is secondary to an intellectual relationship, in which the husband, who is most likely older and better-educated, teaches his wife various relevant bits of philosophy. Given the unromantic nature of this marriage, it is unsurprising that Roman society was rife with extra-marital relationships. Plutarch himself sees nothing wrong with the husband engaging with prostitutes and goes
Works Cited: Primary Sources:
Catullus, The Complete Poems, trans. G. Lee (Oxford: OUP, 1989). Foreigner, “I Want to Know What Love Is” (by M. Jones), Agent Provocateur (Atlantic, 1984). 12
Ovid, Amores, trans. and ed. G. P. Goold (Harvard: HUP, 1977). Ovid, Ars Amatoria, trans. and ed. J. H. Mozley (Harvard: HUP, 1929).
Myerowitz, M. ‘Ovid’s Evolution’, in R. Gibson, S. Green and A. Sharrock (eds.) The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (Oxford: OUP, 2006).
Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII, ed. N. Hopkinson (Cambridge: CUP, 2000).
Nussbaum, G. (1987) ‘Odi et amo — Again (Catullus 85)’, LCM 12, pp. 148.
Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. D. Raeburn (London: Penguin, 2004).
Rudd, N. Lines of enquiry: Studies in Latin poetry (Cambridge: CUP, 1976).
Ovid, The Love Poems, trans. A. D. Melville (Oxford: OUP, 1990).
Stevenson, A. (ed.) The Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.) (OUP, 2010).
Plutarch, Coniugalia Praecepta, trans. and ed. F. C. Babbitt (Harvard: HUP, 1928).
Veyne, P. Roman Erotic Elegy: Love, Poetry, and the West (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).
Presley, E. “Burning Love” (by D. Linde), Burning Love (RCA, 1972). Ritchie, L. and Ross, D. “Endless Love” (by L. Ritchie), Endless Love (Motown, 1981).
Volk, K. ‘Ars Amatoria Romana: Ovid on Love as a Cultural Construct’, in R. Gibson, S. Green and A. Sharrock (ed.) The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (Oxford: OUP, 2006).
Theocritus, Idylls, ed. R. Hunter (Cambridge: CUP, 1999).
Wlosok, A. (1975) ‘Amor and Cupid’, HSPh 79, pp. 165-179.
Virgil, Aeneid, trans. and ed. H. Rushton Fairclough (Harvard: HUP, 1916).
Wyke, M. (1989) ‘In Pursuit of Love’, JRS 79, pp. 165173.
Virgil, Eclogues, trans. and ed. H. Rushton Fairclough (Harvard: HUP, 1916).
Arkins, B. (1987) ‘A New Translation of Catullus 85’, LCM 12, pp. 118. Arkins, B. (2011) ‘The Meaning of ‘Odi et Amo’ In Catullus 85’, BICS 54 (1), pp. 29-30. Fisher, K. and Langlands, R. ‘“This way to the red light district”: the internet generation visits the brothel in Pompeii’, in K. Shahabudin and D. Lowe (eds.) Classics For All: Reworking Antiquity in Mass Culture (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). Galinsky, G. K. (1981) ‘Augustus’ Legislation on Morals and Marriage’, Philologus 125, pp. 126-44. Gibson, R. ‘The Ars Amatoria’, in P. Knox (ed.) A Companion to Ovid (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 13
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS Subject Editor: Agata Siuchninska
Lessons Learnt: An Investigation of Mattel’s Failed Attempt to Operate Successfully in China written by GABBY WASSELL & SOPHIE LAVELLE 1. Executive Summary
The lack of cultural adaptability and understanding, the insufficient market research, and the poor strategic decision-making which contributed to Mattel’s failure in Shanghai will be explored. This report will then conclude with post-analytic recommendations, to explore how Mattel could have operated more successfully in this international context.
This report analyses the failure of Mattel’s ‘House of Barbie’ flagship store in Shanghai, China. The store only operated for two years, between 20092011, before it had to close after continuously failing to meet sales targets (Rose, 2014). The report suggests there were three main reasons as to why the otherwise incredibly successful global brand failed, namely: lack of cultural adaption, insufficient market research and poor strategic decision-making. It can however be said that Mattel have learnt lessons from these original failures, that are now shaping their long-term success in China. Recommendations can therefore be taken from using Mattel’s failures as a case study. Primarily, multinational companies should take a long-term approach when entering a new market, they should establish themselves as a strong brand before expanding their business model and they should allow time to adapt to local market conditions and consumer demands.
Mattel’s failure in China can be explained through the three main concepts discussed below.
3.1 Lack of Cultural Adaptation
The ‘House of Barbie’ was modelled in the image of a popular American doll store called ‘American Girl Place’ (Bloomberg News, 2011). This store served as inspiration to Mattel, in terms of the merchandise that branched off from the ‘American Girl’ doll, such as clothing and accessories. Mattel’s mirroring of this American flagship concept inevitably contributed to its failure, because Mattel assumed that what worked in America would work in China. Whereas in reality, consumer tastes and demands differ from country to country (Wint, 1995) therefore adaptations must be made. An example of these cultural differences affecting retail in the East is that ‘experience stores’ do not resonate as successfully in China, as middle class consumers shop almost entirely online (Granger, 2012). If Mattel had given sufficient consideration to the need to culturally adapt, they would have recognised this at an early enough stage to alter the concept.
In 2009, Mattel attempted to mark its presence in Shanghai with a six-storey flagship Barbie concept store, named ‘House of Barbie’. Mattel aimed to launch Barbie and its Western image and values in the new market of China, through a $30 million store, establishing her as ‘a lifestyle symbol and cultural icon for young girls and women’ (Wang, 2012). However, the store closed in 2011 as it failed to meet financial expectations (Rose, 2014). This report will examine why Mattel was unsuccessful in China, despite the fact that ostensibly it would seem a successful move, as ‘winning brands innovate and look for new growth markets’ (Rein, 2010). It is a pertinent subject to explore, as China seems to be somewhat of a hurdle not just for Mattel but many other large corporations, like Tesco and eBay (Marquis & Yang 2014). In fact, research suggests 48% of foreign corporations withdraw from China within two years of starting operations there (Nicholas, 2013).
Factors contributing to Mattel’s failure in China
Furthermore, Mattel should have considered cultural differences when deciding upon their Chinese product line. Many companies fail to appreciate the importance of cultural understanding and training to international effectiveness (Pieper, 1990). With reference to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, China is
a Restrained society, whilst the USA scores highly for Indulgence. The Chinese therefore do not put much emphasis on leisure time, and control the gratification of their desires (Hofstede, 1991). This means that extravagant dolls, clothes and frivolous accessories would have far less relevance in China than the US, which Mattel failed to recognise. The new store introduced a line of clothing, Barbie cosmetics, and a Barbie Bar with alcoholic beverages. They failed to understand that Chinese parents want their children well educated, with lives oriented around ‘homework, music lessons, and private-tutoring’ (Wang, 2013). This is a significant difference to Western culture, where parents are happier for their children’s free time to be focused on fashion, beauty and dolls.
and fashion forward (Carlson, 2011). Cutesy ‘Hello Kitty’ styles sell, not the sexy, skimpy clothing lines Barbie had to offer (Rein, 2010). As a result, the offerings of Mattel’s flagship store failed to resonate with the Chinese, as they were not responsive enough to the cultural differences of their new market. To summarise, Mattel’s failure can be partly attributed to its ‘ethnocentric strategic predisposition’ (Heenan & Perlmutter, 1979), as American culture, values and customs dominated the store in Shanghai, but they had no meaning or resonance with the Chinese consumer. Having said this, it is important not to overestimate the importance of culture. Culture is fluid, evolving rapidly in an increasingly globalised world (Friedman, 2005). Because of this, whilst they have been highly influential, models such as Hofstede’s can be viewed as outdated. Moreover his categorisation of culture is too simplistic, resulting in generic stereotypes and misinterpretations of culture.
Chinese consumers are new consumers, who are not as sophisticated in the consumption of trends as their Western counterparts (McNeal & Yeh, 1997), therefore a simpler product line should have been utilised. An example of a more successful approach Mattel could have taken to operate successfully in China would be to have made Barbie an aspirational brand to empower Chinese girls, rather than a fashion and lifestyle brand, as suggested by Helen Wang, an expert on China’s middle class (Wang, 2012).
There was still a market for children’s dolls in China, and toy sales have been increasing 13% each year since 2008 (CNN Money, 2015). Therefore a generalised culture of ‘work over play’ cannot entirely account for Mattel’s failings. Whilst ostensibly the Chinese place greater value than Americans on education and hard work, culture is complex, including many subcultures, therefore single traits and values cannot apply to all people from a defined country.
In terms of the product positioning of the Barbie’s themselves, the differing cultural concepts of ‘femininity’ in China and America were erroneously ignored, a vital mistake on Mattel’s behalf. In China, ‘femininity’ is about being sweet, gentle and soft, whereas in America it is more about being dazzling
Therefore whilst cultural differences clearly had some influence on Mattel’s failure, other factors must have been at play.
not have predicted it. To Mattel’s credit, this unseen obstacle was accounted for and corrected later on in Mattel’s Chinese operations, when Mattel introduced a blonde ‘Violin Soloist’ doll, to fulfil the wants and needs of the Chinese consumer.
3.2 Insufficient Market Research
When brands enter new markets abroad, a common failure comes through the complacency of not doing sufficient market research, or unfoundedly assuming they understood the consumer culture of the host country (Newman & Cullen, 2002). In the US, 99% of three - ten year olds own at least one Barbie doll (Dittmar, Halliwell & Ive, 2006) and Barbie has grown as a cultural icon over a fifty year period, whereas China is not nearly as familiar with the brand. Mattel misread the Chinese market’s understanding of Barbie, which would not have happened if they had done the necessary depth of market research. This would have taught them that Barbie is not a cultural icon in China as it is in America, and as a result ‘Chinese consumers couldn’t care less about Barbie-branded products’ (Carlson, 2013). Chinese consumers were not ready for the ‘Barbie Lifestyle’ because it was meaningless to them: brand exposure needed to have been carried out first so that awareness and understanding of Barbie was established. They should have focused their efforts on establishing the dolls, but instead they assumed Chinese consumers would want a whole range of pricey Barbie-themed clothing, food and goods (Carlson, 2013).
3.3 Poor Strategic Decision-making
Poor strategic decision-making can be seen as the final nail in the coffin for Mattel’s unsuccessful operations in China. Firstly, Mattel didn’t source in China, meaning the merchandise was too expensive. For example, they needed to price a pair of jeans at as much as 1,000 Yuan, which was far too much money for a brand that didn’t have much recognition in the Chinese market (Wang, 2012). Even worse, Barbies were sold in other department stores at a lower cost, meaning Mattel were competing with themselves (McGrath, Sherry & Diamond, 2013). Mattel’s decision to position the ‘House of Barbie’ as a standalone store was a strategic error. Research shows that standalone stores don’t work in China, partly because the Chinese prefer to go to one indoor destination rather than walk down the streets to individual shops, where they must face traffic and pollution (Rein, 2010). Mattel should instead have placed themselves in a large shop within a mall, where there is a large footfall of potential customers, so they can catch people who have no experience or awareness of them and thus build brand exposure. This would also have saved them precious money: as the general manager of Barbie Shanghai, Gar Crispell stated; ’the overhead of a single store is huge...we
Further indication of their minimal market research is evident in their price positioning. The store was expensive, isolating Barbie’s reach to selective, affluent customers. Further research would have taught them that Chinese consumers are valueseekers (Wang, 2013). As Barbie was not a cultural symbol in China as it is in America and the United Kingdom, Barbie only represented a generic toy, and thus the expensive prices could not be justified. One must however recognise that not everything can be predicted or prepared for when a company begins operating in a new market, due to the subtle nuances of consumers and differing cultures. Therefore, it could be deduced that an element of a company’s success abroad depends on luck. For example, Chinese consumers and young girls actually preferred blonde Barbie to a doll that looked like them. Therefore, one of Mattel’s only efforts to adapt to the local market, a doll with Asian features named Ling, was unexpectedly unsuccessful (Rauhala, 2009). This blonde preference is at odds with traditional Asian culture, and so Mattel’s market researchers could 16
couldn’t generate enough revenue to justify that’ (Wang, 2012).
Gamble and Starbucks (Marquis & Yang, 2014). Such companies committed to a long-term strategy, recognising that setbacks would arise, and that successfully introducing cultural products requires incremental adaptation.
A theoretical way to explain Mattel’s strategic failures is through Hofstede’s Long Term vs. Short Term Orientation (Hofstede, 1991). Western cultures tend to have Short Term Orientations, for example this was the mindset held by Mattel. They placed great emphasis on quick financial return, and scrapped their Chinese venture after just two years, when it was failing to meet these immediate financial expectations. Their move to China required a more Long Term approach. Entering a foreign market is never going to be easy, so they needed more patience and flexibility, to adapt to the new culture, to learn about the market’s needs, and to make improvements to their operations accordingly. This need for multinational organisations to embrace a long term approach is further supported in an article from Harvard Business School (Marquis & Yang, 2014).
5. Conclusion and Recommendations
This report demonstrates that when it comes to doing business in a completely new cultural environment, it is rare that companies implement a perfect strategy from the offset. Rather than mistakes always being seen as failures, they can be looked at as opportunities that allow companies to adjust, regroup, and reformulate (Marquis & Yang, 2014). For markets as big as China and the USA, giving up entirely may be much costlier than taking an initial loss. Mattel’s exit strategy was therefore very appropriate, as they did not give up on China entirely, but decided that they needed a “new brand strategy” to succeed (Beaton, 2011).
4. Discussion of the Exit Strategy
Mattel experienced failure due to their lack of cultural adaptation, poor strategic decision-making, and insufficient market research. They failed to recognise that Barbie did not have the same importance in China as in the US, thus their standalone store, which customers would have to specifically seek out, would struggle to attract customers. Foreign brands, having recently only entered China, need to locate themselves in malls where the customers are, to increase brand exposure (Rein, 2010). Drawing on the lessons from the Mattel case study, there are various steps multinational corporations can take to launch in a new country successfully. As business becomes increasingly international, the importance of cultural awareness and adaptability is evermore important to the success of an organisation. It is recommended that companies such as Mattel employ local managers, to gain an inside knowledge and understanding of the culture. They should embrace a long term orientation, use marketing and social media as a way to establish the brand before their physical presence is implemented, and adapt their positioning to suit each and every local culture, rather than taking an ethnocentric disposition. It is a lack of understanding of these basic market principles and cultural differences, which cause most foreign corporations to fail in China (Nicholas, 2013).
Due to the reasons discussed, ‘House of Barbie’ was struggling to meet sales expectations, to the extent that Mattel lowered sales targets by almost 30 percent in 2010, at least the third time it had dropped targets since the store opened (Beaton, 2011). Not surprisingly, the store was forced to close in 2011, marking an estimated $30 million loss for Mattel (Rauhala, 2011). Despite their failures, one cannot help but praise Mattel’s exit strategy. They closed the flagship store, but did not give up on the Chinese market, instead formulating a comeback strategy, which incorporated everything they had learnt from their mistakes. An example of this as briefly mentioned was the ‘Violin Soloist’ doll they introduced, to target Chinese parents who want their children to be ‘geniuses’ (Wang, 2013). This type of aspirational doll is helping Barbie to gain meaning and purpose for young girls. Their dolls have also been reintroduced at a more reasonable price point. Evidence of the success of their turnaround strategy is in their sales figures in China, which have tripled since 2010 (Wang, 2013). Mattel’s venture may be an example of great initial loss, but from their experiences, they appear to have learned great lessons that are aiding their long-term success (Marquis & Yang, 2014). Therefore it is no surprise that some of the most successful foreign corporations operating in China are also those that have been there the longest: such as Procter and
Regarding China specifically, corporations should follow the advice of global brand research company Millward Brown; ‘never assume what works for your mature markets will work for China. Success 17
comes for those who stay relevant to the needs of the Chinese consumer’ (Rose, 2013).
McGrath, M., Sherry, J. & Diamond, N. (2013). Discordant retail brand ideology in the House of Barbie. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal. Vol. 16, 1, pp. 12 - 37.
Works Cited: Beaton, J. (2011) Barbie closes her Shanghai Dream House. CNN Travel. Accessed 29/11/15 http://travel.cnn.com/shanghai/ shop/barbie-closes-her-shanghai-dream-house-060761
McNeal, J. & Yeh, C. (1997) Development of consumer behavior patterns among Chinese children, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 14, 1, pp.45 - 59. Newman, A. J. & Cullen, P. (2002) Retailing: Environment and Operations. Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA, p. 451.
Bloomberg News (2011) Barbie Packs Her Bags as Mattel Closes Shanghai Dream House. Accessed 1/12/15 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/ articles/2011-03-07/barbie-packs-her-bags-as-mattelcloses-shanghai-dream-house
Nicholas, A. (2013) Why foreign companies fail in China. New York: Weber Shandwick.
Carlson, B. (2013) Why big American businesses fail in China. Global Post. Carlson, J. (2011) Subjects of stalled revolution: A theoretical consideration of contemporary American femininity. Feminist Theory, 12(1), 75-91.
Pieper, R. (ed.) (1990) Human Resource Management: An international comparison. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co. pp. 248-249. Rauhala, E. (2009) Mattel to Open Barbie Superstore In Shanghai. Global Post.
CNN Money (2015) Toy story: What toy sales tell us about China’s future. Accessed 2/12/15 http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/21/news/economy/ toys-china-consumers/
Rauhala, E. (2011) In Shanghai, Barbie’s Dream House Crumbles. Time Magazine. Accessed 1/12/15 http://world.time.com/2011/03/08/ in-shanghai-barbies-dream-house-crumbles/
Cross, G. & Smits, G. (2005). Japan, the U.S. and the Globalization of Children’s Consumer Culture. Journal of Social History, 38(4), 873–890.
Rein, S. (2010) Where Barbie Went Wrong In China. Forbes. Accessed 22/11/15 http://www.forbes. com/2010/01/22/barbie-mattel-china-leadershipmanaging-rein.html
Dittmar, H, Halliwell, E & Ive, S (2006) ‘Does Barbie Make Girls Want to Be Thin? The Effect of Experimental Exposure to Images of Dolls on the Body Image of 5- to 8-Year-Old Girls’, Developmental Psychology, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 283-292.
Rose, I. (2013) How to win In China: Top brands share tips for success. BBC News. Accessed 17/11/15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23364230
Friedman, T. (2005). The World is Flat. Penguin, London.
Rose, I. (2014) Can Barbie conquer China? BBC News. Accessed 20/11/15 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ business-30210261
Granger, M. (2012) Fashion: The Industry and Its Careers. A&C Black, p. 119.
Wang, H. (2012) Why Barbie Stumbled in China and How She Could Re-Invent Herself. Forbes. Wang, H. (2013) Can Mattel make a comeback in China? Forbes. Accessed 21/11/15 http://www.forbes.com/sites/helenwang/2013/11/17/ can-mattel-make-a-comeback-in-china/
Heenan, D. & Perlmutter, H. (1979) Multinational Organisational Development. Boston: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Hofstede, G. (1991) Cultures and Organisations: Software of the Mind. London: McGraw-Hill.
Wint, A. (1995) Corporate Management in Developing Countries: The Challenge of International Competitiveness. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing. p. 23.
Marquis, C. and Yang, Z. (2014) Learning the Hard Way: Why Foreign Companies That Fail in China Haven’t Really Failed. Harvard Business School.
ENGLISH AND FILM Subject Editor: Matthew Newman
Curiosity, Confusion, Concern: how do Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Finnegans Wake and Four Quartets explore the various stages of experience?
written by ANDRE KALJEVIC child grows up. Lewis Carroll’s solution was to let her learn about a world where death did not figure: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” (Carroll 38). If “as many as six impossible things” are believed “before breakfast”, then “impossible things” in Carroll’s world become innumerable. The words “as many as” lean towards the concept of infinity, because people are prone to believing as many or as little things as they want. Nonsense becomes a form of security. This is a world where the threat of mortality is just as immediate as it is distant, and Tim Burton’s 2010 film adaptation captures this mood particularly well:
hildhood is often characterized by curiosity; a willingness to make mistakes because we are insulated from knowledge of their consequences. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) preserves childhood through the imagination. The real Alice Liddell grew up because she had to. Her fictional alter ego however, is representative of a particular point of her development, that of innocence. Wonderland was Carroll’s way of holding on to that innocence. It is a safe world, with its own linguistic rules, a logic, and a narrative. Alice wakes up from her dream of Wonderland at the end of the narrative but - because she wakes over and over again each time the narrative is completed - she is constantly trapped in childhood, never really waking up at all. Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939) takes the preservation of that childhood apart; in the novel Carroll’s private life is married with that of Wonderland. There are no separate rules nor different languages – it functions as a halfway house between the real and the imaginary. In disassembling what is ostensibly a children’s story, Joyce disassembles the experience of childhood. T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets (1942) deals with the next inevitable stage of life, adulthood, with its gentle thrum of anxiety. The collection displays an engagement with mortality; there is knowledge of original sin, penance, and an anticipation of death. Such certainties are the cause for much sadness, because what Carroll’s Alice will never know, T.S. Eliot carried right to the death bed. In any experience, there is a beginning, a middle and an end. The three works outlined map the various stages of experience, and the emotions tethered with time: curiosity, confusion and concern. There is an elegance and a power to ignorance; to not know about death is to know what it feels like to live forever. Alice Liddell does not know very much but she is filled with an innate desire to make sense of the world. The problem is that this is precisely how a
Alice: “How long is forever?” White Rabbit: “Sometimes, just one second.” (Alice in Wonderland)
Time is relevant “sometimes”, while “forever” can embody its opposite state. Nothing is ever too close to home because nothing is real. Robert DouglasFairhurst notes that Carroll’s contemporary, the psychologist James Sully, said on the topic of dreams that “in the revival of young experience, the delicious fullness of childish sensation, the dreamer may be said to enjoy a prolongation of life’s golden prime” (124) . Put another way, fashioning Wonderland allowed Carroll to continue his friendship with an Alice who was fixed rather than fluid; always being made by actions, behaviour and experiences. But above all, through fiction he continued his friendship with an idea of Alice in her “golden prime”, while life itself took the real one away. Carroll’s idea of perpetuity seemed not to be one of becoming, but one of putting the present in exile. In the case of T.S. Eliot however, there is an acute awareness of a lack of perpetuity and life’s jarring thrust. His Four Quartets were a way of holding onto abstract notions that could easily slip through the net, such as time, love, hate, or simply ideas. We can infer this from the
lines “time present and time past / Are both perhaps contained in time future, / And time future contained in time past” (Eliot 7). The line-break in “past / Are” evokes the sandwiching of the “past…” with the present, “Are”, while “contained in time future, / And time future contained in…” echoes the oscillating geography of Joycean and Carrollian landscapes. A pithy expression of fear and concern over mortality, life’s cut-off point, can be found in the lines: “What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present.” (7) Our awareness of our own end, found on the other side of mortality, is “always present”; we are not “ethereal” like Eliot’s rose garden. Instead, we have an end point – death. The addition of the adverb qualification “perhaps” however, indicates that the future is “perhaps” still a matter of conjecture. We cannot quite move into the future in the linear way in which the future moves into “time past”. The past, present and future coalesce, whereas in Wonderland we do not move into the future at all.
the “window-seat”, a portal into “the pain of living”, channels Carroll’s alternative universe in which one could “curl up” in. The motif of misunderstanding language as a form of exile from sense and meaning is also present in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. For example, Carroll’s sparing use of subordinating conjunctions leaves it open to the reader to make interpretive connections between clauses – form is used to materialize misunderstandings between characters, and yet the syntax can appear ordered and clear. This is conveyed most clearly in the disjointed discourse between Alice and the Caterpillar, and is remarked upon by the narrator: “Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’s making such very short remarks” (Carroll 53-4). The Caterpillar’s strict economy of word order creates a tension between the curtness of his lines and the expansiveness of Alice’s:
The theme of exile from language is explored constantly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Finnegans Wake and Four Quartets. Belinda Jack argues that “when Eliot’s poetry describes linguistic failure it is often in a language that suggests an ‘exile’ from language” (3). She cites two quotations from ‘East Coker’ that illuminate how this can make for disorientating experiences: “That was a way of putting it – not very satisfactory:/A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion” (Eliot 17) and “one has only learnt to get the better of words / For the thing one no longer has to say” (21). Exile plays a prominent part in Christian theology: “exile from the Garden of Eden, those sent into exile, Jesus’s chosen periods of exile in the desert, but above all an idea that we are exiled from God and that our spiritual journey is one from exile to an ultimate home-coming” (Jack 4). Here the poet is exiled from making sense of things because he cannot make “very satisfactory” sense of language. The self-consciousness exhibited in “wornout poetical fashion” represents a struggle to put experience into words, as a result, that experience becomes tired, isolating, trapped within its own world. In a way, this notion mirrors the words of Eliot’s friend Robert Sencourt, noting that Eliot “would often curl up in the window-seat behind an enormous book, setting the drug of dreams against the pain of living” (Sencourt 5). The description of “an enormous book” as a “drug of dreams” set against
“‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’” (Carroll 53) Alice’s remarks, by contrast, can seem innumerable; subordinating conjunctions “for” and “and” act as a kind of connecting tissue that binds what is incomprehensible to Alice into long sentences that are as elastic as they are exhaustive. This creates the effect of Alice having to stretch herself mentally – “I can’t understand” - and physically – “being so many different sizes a day is very confusing” - in a bid to make sense of herself and why she is changing. This 21
mirrors the experience of puberty, a “very confusing” time when one goes through many “sizes” and can become “afraid” for reasons one “can’t understand”. The aesthetic of the experience is as confusing as the experiences it induces; the words “different sizes” could be an allusion to how our experiences shape us, even if we misunderstand what they might mean at the time. In this way, Carroll uses syntactic feature and rhetorical devices to explore how over-reliance on past experiences can exile us from making sense of new ones.
their “endless repetitive circularities”. Finnegans Wake on the other hand, plays with the aesthetic of meaning, how language gives way to some emotions and distorts others. The coherency of the works was reflected in their reception: Finnegans Wake was characterized as “excruciatingly unreadable, redundant and incomprehensible” and purportedly “is rarely read outside the confines of graduate seminars in English” (Manganaro 220). While “‘Burnt Norton’ is by far the most widely read, and reread, of the works in question” (220). This is likely because Eliot doesn’t just give us a reason to go in endless circles, he provides us with a key to map them – his objective correlatives: “ideas and images and their associated emotions” (Jack 5). Eliot’s definition is as follows:
Finnegans Wake explores the mind’s connection between experience and identity and how the loss of the former can mean the loss of the latter. Joyce’s Alice “broke the glass” between Alice’s fantastical origin, Wonderland, and her real origin, Christ Church: “Alis, Alas, she broke the glass! Liddell locker through the leafery, ours is a mistery of pain” (Joyce 270). The use of the real Alice’s surname ‘Liddell’ blurs the distinction between the real and the ostensibly real, while ‘Mistery’ suggests missing mastery, as well as what we don’t know. Joyce’s whirlwind of anagrams and reversed spellings allow us to encounter Dodgson, Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell in forms both familiar and unfamiliar: “Dodgfather, Dodgson and Coo” (482) “wonderland’s wanderlad” (374), “alas in jumboland” (584), “loose carolleries” (294), and “Lewd’s carol” (501). The play on words in “Lewd’s carol” and “wonderland’s wonderlad” establishes a ludicrous and comic mood that disassembles the seemingly logical structure of Wonderland, teasing out its more linguistically unorthodox aspects. Fresh characters and motifs rise like a rip tide to the shore only to fall away at any second; Joyce’s rip tide discards all that made sense in Carroll’s world, while retaining the curiously fashioned aesthetic of the place. Through Wonderland Carroll delays the onset of reality – adolescence, identity, pain – while Joyce enables it to creep to the fore.
“The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an ‘objective correlative’; in other words a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked.” (Eliot, ‘Hamlet’, Selected Essays, 145) Through these correlatives T.S. Eliot parenthetically refers to experiences that might have been, whereas Finnegans Wake takes apart the imagined experiences of Lewis Carroll. The use of syntax can seem baffling, but unlike Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it never wholly breaks down into nonsense. Take the opening of ‘Burnt Norton’: “Footfalls echo in the memory Down the passage we did not take Towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden. My words echo Thus, in your mind.” (Eliot, Four Quartets, 7) There is a duality to the second and third lines. The use of negatives “the passage we did not take”, “the door we never opened” touch upon paths that have been shut off by alternative routes, yet through verbalizing them Eliot leaves them in the affirmative. Non-events become events on the basis that they may materialize, still. Possibility becomes an event in itself. There is an almost neurotic concern with holding onto what might have been and what may be. While T.S. Eliot focusses on reconstructing experiences, Joyce is occupied with stripping down those of others. Wonderland is chiefly composed of what he termed “bits and scraps” of the imagination
While the thematic link between Carroll and Joyce is clear – the breakdown of innocence in the twentieth century - the connection between Joyce and Eliot is more ambiguous. Eliot’s journey is designed to be understood, while Joyce authors misunderstanding through pulling apart our traditional channel for making sense – the English language. Marc Manganaro notes that “Eliot’s poetic sequence often has been criticized along the lines of the common critiques of Finnegans Wake, for its endless repetitive circularities” (220). Four Quartets is about emotions locked in time and finding meaning in their paralysis, 22
(Atherton 127), and he goes about taking it apart like a child unpacks a play-set. In Finnegans Wake entire worlds are poached from other novels, Carroll’s ‘Wonderland’ is digested down to ‘Wonderlawn’, while literary characters from one kind of book diffuse into literal landscapes that co-inform each other. Wonderland’s potential for hostility is now worn on its sleeve, “A liss in Hunterland” (Joyce 276), while Alice is split into two to form ‘A liss’, creating a sibilant snake sound. John P. Anderson has said that Finnegans Wake is “among many other things, a riff on the Garden of Eden myth, a myth about the relationship of God and first mankind about the “Fall”” (Anderson 24). It is not just the imagery and sound of the snake alone that seem to support this, Joyce conveys the quality of snake’s deceitfulness in Genesis 3:1. While we can track the change in words visually, when spoken out loud there is no change, it sounds as if Alice or ‘A liss’ has remained the same, only the familiar landscape of ‘Wonderland’ has changed. Brett Bourbon argues that “FW is a text in which the vocabulary through which we would express our intentional states or articulate what we mean by intention is no longer sensible, usable, or meaningful” (Bourbon 153). While in Wonderland the English language functions as a tool to make sense of experience, in Finnegans Wake it is ascribed a far lesser degree of relevance, lacking the resources to “express the kind of intentionality that allows us
to say that ‘I believe x’ or the kind of aboutness that allows language to be used to make assertions about the world even for the characters of Finnegans Wake” (Bourbon 153). Curiosity discovers experiences that cannot be made sense of, the Wakean world is one we cannot even begin to make sense of, because it does not align with our register. Eliot talks of “the door we never opened”, while the Wakean door is one we can’t open – we don’t even know how to. Adults worry because they know they are mortal and cannot therefore control everything and perhaps anything. Self-examination and regret are honed in on as a result of putting off time, and by extension staving off death. Yet there is a deep awareness in Four Quartets, particularly ‘Little Gidding’ (1942), of original sin and personal sin, and a realization that problems can only be put in exile for so long before they come rapping at the door again: “The rending pain of re-enactment Of all that you have done, and been; the shame Of motives late revealed Of things ill done, and done to other’s harm.” (Eliot 39-40) Endless circularities do not apply to Eliot, but rather the idea of coming full circle. The words “of motives late revealed” denote the final leg of human narrative,
while the idea of lateness in disclosing intent, wrongs, and suffering hints towards penance. If Carroll’s narrative was one of putting the present in exile, and Joyce’s narrative was one where the present could be conceptually eschewed, then it is Eliot’s narrative that is one of becoming. Here “re-enactment” is a burdensome responsibility, a form of address that must be made before time runs out; “things ill done, and done to other’s harm” have can only be stowed away for so long. Four Quartets is the last text Eliot wrote and through avoiding death he ends up tackling it directly. The line “of all that you have done, and been” encases a flawed life – the only life of the three texts that is real. It is an existence spent being concerned with mortality. One can spend forever becoming “curiouser and curiouser” in Wonderland, or perpetually confused in the Wake – but in reality, it is mortality that outlives eternity.
Joyce, James. Finnegans Wake. London: Faber, 1975. Print. Manganaro, Marc. Culture, 1922: The Emergence of a Concept. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2002. Print. Sencourt, Robert. T.S. Eliot, a Memoir. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1971. Print.
Works Cited: A. Atherton, James. The Books at the Wake: A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce’s ‘Finnegans Wake’. New York: Viking, 1960. Print. Alice in Wonderland. Walt Disney Studios: Tim Burton, 2010. DVD. Anderson, John P. Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Boca Raton, Fla.: Universal- Publishers, 2010. Print. Bourbon, Brett. Finding a Replacement for the Soul. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2004. Print. Carroll, Lewis et al. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking- Glass. London: Broadview Press Ltd, 2015. Print. Douglas-Fairhurst, Robert. The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland. London: Harvill Secker, 2015. Print. Eliot, T. S. ‘Hamlet.’ Selected Essays. London: Faber, 1951. Print. Eliot, T. S. Four Quartets. London: Faber, 1956. Print. Jack, Belinda. ‘Poetry and Exile: T. S. Eliot, ‘Four Quartets’ | Gresham College’. Gresham. ac.uk. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. 24
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Subject Editors: Ellie Collett & Alexander Wallis Smith
Swedish and British Foreign Policy: A Comparative Study
written by RICHARD ROBSON 53). Since the disastrous First World War, Britain has struggled to come to terms with its diminished global political position, which has ultimately led to an attempt to act as a pivot between the United States and Europe. Trying to create this difficult balancing act has led to British officials conducting and creating a multitude of various meetings, summits, UN resolutions and multilateral compromises. In fact, it has been documented that in the two months after 11th September 2001, Prime Minister Blair covered more than 40,000 miles in over 50 meetings with foreign officials (Riddell, 2004). Such a claim to international leadership was, in reality, ‘well beyond what Britain’s limited military and economic resources alone would support’ (Wallace, 2005: 55). Thus Sweden is not alone in attempting to exert itself onto the international scene perhaps more than its real status suggests. They may have done so using different means but ultimately both countries had, and arguably still have particularly in the case of Britain, highly ambitious foreign policies.
weden has for many years held a reputation for having a neutral, moralistic and pacifist foreign policy that sets it apart from most other developed countries. It is believed that Swedish non-alignment existed as a “third-way” during the Cold War and currently acts as an alternative view to realist power play politics. Yet when one compares Swedish foreign policy to that of Britain, we can see that it is not as unique as one may initially perceive. Both countries share a foreign policy that has punched ambitiously above its weight and despite claims to neutrality is very much western centric with NATO as a key actor. Furthermore both countries have had distant and aloof relationships with mainland Europe over the European integration project and its intended ideals. Thus one can instead view Swedish foreign policy as being more realpolitik than idealistic, and more ordinary than unique. Historically, particularly between the 1960s and late 1980s, Sweden pursued an ‘exceptionally activist foreign policy, which reached widely around the globe’ (Dahl, 2006: 895). Publically, Sweden proclaimed universalist policies based upon international law and small state solidarity such as by providing support to periphery third world countries like Nicaragua and Palestine, which were often ignored or considered a threat by other western states. This was possible within a bipolar system that was dominated by the twin opposing forces of the United States and the Soviet Union. Sweden could proclaim a “third-way” that gave it some sort of status as a “moral superpower” amongst a system of self-interested states dominated by realist thinking. Swedes, in fact, considered it to be an obligation ‘to interfere from its unattached perspective in order to moderate between extremes and present an attractive and viable alternative’ (Nilsson, 1988: 26). Such an activist foreign policy has been replicated by Britain, although in a different way. Britain may not be a small Nordic state and it may have, in comparison, large political, economic and social clout but it still has ‘tried to punch above its weight for the past half-century’ (Wallace, 2005:
The two countries have had significantly differing relations with the United States over the past half century, at least on the surface. Perhaps in part caused by the consequences of World War Two, Britain has found itself seeking to be a deputy to the United States. For a long time it was dependent, like many other war ravaged European countries, upon American development aid as well as security from the Iron Curtain. This combined with attempts to be a pivot between Europe and North America and the desire of Blair to strengthen the “special relationship” has led to successive British Prime Ministers partnering with the United States on various issues. Notable examples include the two wars in Iraq, close relations within NATO, the implementation of increasingly similar neo-liberal economic models, and general policy support within the UN. This clear alignment puts the Swedish positon into a stark light. Particularly under the leadership of Olof Palme, Sweden frequently espoused anti-American rhetoric; comparing American action in Vietnam 25
with that of the Nazis. In fact, a significant amount of Swedish rhetoric during the bipolar era was targeted at the United States, not at the Soviet Union. Yet if one analyses this a bit more deeply you can see that there are realpolitik issues relating to this. Such proximity to the USSR would inevitably mean that Sweden would not abuse its third-way position to the extent of excessively irritating the Soviets. This is confirmed by the fact that for many years Sweden actually ‘entered into a complex set of contacts and cooperation with the Scandinavian NATO allies, Denmark and Norway, the UK, and US’, which could provide military assistance in the event of war. This included ‘at one point handing over the entire Swedish military planning to the UK’ (Dahl, 2006: 901). Thus Sweden’s anti-American rhetoric and third-way proclaimants can perhaps be seen as a more public for show affair, whilst in reality Sweden was as much dictated by realist self-interested politics as any other state.
within the Swedish constitution. Essentially, the Swedish judicial system, unlike in Britain, has one system for administrative affairs and another one for criminal or civil affairs. Furthermore, there is no clear division between the executive and the judiciary with both being referred to as “the public authority” within the constitution (Larsson and Bäck, 2008). EU membership has brought Sweden further away from its, at least publically proclaimed, non-aligned position as increased contact and cooperation has been unavoidable. As a result, there has been confusion when implementing European legislation, with Sweden receiving criticism for its reluctant attitude to European law predominance. A case in point is the 2007 Laval case in which the European Court of Justice ordered that a Latvian construction firm be allowed to hire Latvian workers for cheaper wages during a construction project in Stockholm. The UK has had an equally tumultuous relationship with the EU. In fact, to somewhat show the similarities, sympathy strikes sprung out across British factory plants in support of Swedish workers following the Laval ruling. Moreover, Britain’s attempts to act as a pivot between Europe and the US has led to it showing an ambivalence towards Europe based upon a sort of nonchalance that the continent needs it more than it needs the continent. This has led to a position in
Sweden and Britain also have a similar position when it comes to the European Union. Both states seem to have a difficult and complicated relationship, with the latter in particular seemingly wandering in no-man’s land. The role of the European Union occupies a somewhat comically tiny piece of space 26
which a failure to extrapolate the intended amount of influence over the US has been compounded by mistrust and awkward relationships with European countries. The French, for example, believe that the UK has attempted to capture the EU and render the initial European project goals dead (Wallace, 2005). As a result, in contrast to its attempts to be a global policeman, within Europe Britain ‘often punches well below its weight, for lack of sustained engagement at the highest level’ (Wallace, 2005: 62). Such apathy towards Europe has left both Sweden and Britain in a position where Euroscepticism is increasing fast. European failings such as a lack of shared direction, conflicts amongst new and old members, and conflicts between domestic and European judicial systems have led to governments making no attempt to counter the rise of the largely Eurosceptic public and media. This has led to the significant rise of anti-EU parties in Sweden and Britain, the Sweden Democrats and UKIP respectively.
61 (4). P.p. 895-908. Larsson, T., and Bäck, H. (2008) Governing and Governance in Sweden. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Nilsson, A.S. (1988) Swedish Foreign Policy in the Post-Palme Era. World Affairs. 151 (1). P.p. 25-33. Riddell, P. (2004) Hug them Close: Blair, Clinton, Bush and the “Special Relationship”. London: Politico’s. Wallace, W. (2005) The Collapse of British Foreign Policy. International Affairs. 81 (1). P.p. 53-68.
In conclusion, one can see that Swedish foreign policy is in actual fact not particularly unique. It’s reputation as being a third-way strategy of neutrality and moralism amongst a bipolar realpolitik political system was more public showmanship than real substance. When push came to shove, Sweden was still very much aligned with the western states even if its rhetoric was more idealistic. Swedish military involvement in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan is perhaps the starkest indicator of this. In regards to its moralistic public foreign policy, Sweden was very much punching above its weight much like the UK has been doing as it has bid to build a special relationship with the United States. If one takes Sweden’s claim to be a “moral superpower” seriously then we would see differences between it and the UK in its relations with the US, yet the secret realpolitik negotiations show that in reality Sweden’s damning of American actions was not as serious as initially assumed, although it is something that Britain would never conceive of doing. Sweden’s relationship with Europe is also very similar to Britain’s with confusion and apathy leading to both countries being rather aloof from the European project. Thus we see more similarities than differences between Sweden and Britain, and a more realist than idealist Swedish foreign policy.
Works Cited: Dahl, A.S. (2006) Sweden: Once a Moral Superpower, Always a Moral Superpower?. International Journal. 27
LAW Subject Editor: Kristianna Nicolaou
Does the law of nullity continue to have any valuable role to play in contemporary family law? written by Kim Pickering Introduction
and divorce, under part II of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, despite it being a â€˜non-existentâ€™ marriage in law.
Under UK law, if a marriage satisfies the formality requirements and grounds set out in The Marriage Act 1949, it will be recognized as a lawful valid marriage. If only some of the requirements are met, it may also be seen as a valid marriage, but will be dependent upon the facts, and if there was an intention to create a valid marriage.
The judiciary created the concept of non-marriage whilst void marriage was, and still is, in existence. This essay will question why this new concept was created, if the law of nullity and divorce was sufficient. The deciding factor based on the case law, seems to be for the purpose of denying a marital remedy. This will be explored.
Divorce and annulment (nullity) are the two methods utilized to regulate the dissolution of marriage and civil partnerships, which will be explored further in this essay. Annulment allows that a marriage may be declared as void or voidable.
It will be argued that the similarities between void and non-marriage are vast, in that they are both flawed attempts at marriage, and are invalid marriages.1 The end result for both is the same; the parties have not created a lawful marriage, and are therefore, not married in the eyes of the law.
The law of nullity still serves a useful purpose today. However, rather than abolishing voidable marriage which has been widely discussed and with the concept of non-marriage now currently active in the courts as a new judicial alternative, it is void marriage that should be abolished. Void marriage serves no practical purpose other than as a mechanism for financial gain.
The current law of nullity needs to be modified to remove the void option. Instead only a voidable annulment should be offered. This would limit decrees of nullity being issued too readily, and would only be granted when complex, unforeseen circumstances arise, allowing a defective but lawful marriage to be legally undone, by declaring it voidable. As currently, this would require a limited time, so that only recent marriages could be annulled, and able to avoid divorce.
A valid marriage is one that satisfies the requirements under The Marriage Act 1949, or a voidable marriage in annulment. Both of these are valid marriages (legally recognized) until they come to an end. As set out in part II of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, in the event of a breakdown these marriages therefore invoke the financial and property remedies equivalent to that of divorce.
Non-marriages, would be enlarged to subsequently describe all remaining flawed marriage attempts, regardless of intention, and should therefore not invoke any marital remedies at all, as they are not legally married.
However, an invalid marriage, is one that is fundamentally flawed, and not recognized in law. It may be declared as void (in annulment), or a nonmarriage, by a Judge. The crucial difference is that if a non-marriage is declared, the financial remedy will be denied. In contrast a void marriage will invoke a financial remedy, as it does for voidable marriages
This would eventually, over time, begin to create more clarity as to the formalities and requirements legally required to create a valid marriage that, in
1 https://www.gov.uk/how-to-annul-marriage/ when-you-can-annul-a-marriage.
turn, will invoke the marital remedies available in the event of a breakdown. It will encourage people to ensure that the correct procedures are understood and adhered to, and where they are not, a nonmarriage will be declared in law. If the parties still wish to create a valid marriage, they would need to repeat the marriage process in the correct manner. This would be the only way in which to invoke the lawful protection and remedies available.
Williams’ Family Law, fourth edition, pages 57-82.
Annulment: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 sections 11 &12
The law recognizes that there has been a fundamental flaw in the establishment of the marriage, rendering it ineffective. For example, if it fails to comply with the formality requirements required to create a valid marriage set out in the Marriage Act 1949. If a petition for annulment is granted, it will be declared as either void, or as a voidable marriage. A decree of nullity is a statement to the effect that the marriage in question is null and void3, and will be granted for a voidable marriage, but is optional for one that is void.
In addition to the methods mentioned above, there is currently a common law presumption of marriage. This exists for situations in which the parties have lived together as a married couple for many years, unaware of the invalid legal status of their marriage. This will be briefly expanded on in this essay, as it is a solution that should remain, in order to protect innocent parties from being treated unfairly.
‘A decree of nullity gives the court jurisdiction under part II of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to grant finance and property orders equivalent to those made on divorce’.4
By reducing annulment to one voidable option, the regulation of marriage is simplified. There would be two clear ways to dissolve a marriage, through (voidable) annulment and divorce. There would exist alongside this two methods for the judiciary to determine the validity of a dubious marriage, by sustaining it through the presumption of marriage, or by declaring it a non-marriage
If an annulment is denied, a non-marriage will be the likely outcome.
Void Marriage Section 11 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
A marriage attempt that is significantly flawed in its’ establishment, and within grounds set out in section 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, may be declared void. These grounds are lengthy, but briefly include the parties being within the prohibited degrees of a relationship, i.e. blood relations, or closely related, being under the age of 16 and failure to comply with the formalities required.
In support of this assertion and to provide a balanced critique, it will now consider divorce, annulment (void and voidable), non-marriage and the presumption of marriage, in order to determine if the law of nullity is useful in contemporary society.
Divorce: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 part one and two
The marriage will be seen as never having existed in the eyes of the law. It is void, ‘ab intio, there never was a valid marriage right from the beginning’.5 Anyone can apply, even after the death of one of the parties. An example of such a flawed marriage attempt is demonstrated in the following case:
Divorce recognizes a marriage that is valid, but that it later comes to an end. It is the legal death of a marriage.2 It is important to briefly explain divorce, to compare how the law of nullity differs, and to highlight if nullity is useful to fill any gaps in the law, or if indeed, it creates more difficulties. Divorce cannot be applied for in the first year of marriage, and it carries legal consequences regarding childcare provisions, financial settlements and property orders, but leaves each party free to re-marry. It is beyond the scope of this essay to discuss divorce in more detail, but for a detailed explanation on divorce, see Hayes & 2 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 6.
Asaad v Kurter6
The parties married in Syria. The petitioner could provide a ‘marriage certificate’ document, but it was not registered with the Syrian authorities, and no
3 http://www.lawteacher.net/resources/family-law/ marriage-and-nullity.php. 4 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 6. 5 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 6. 6  EWHC 3852 (Fam).
permission was obtained. Moylan J found it was not valid under UK law, and was best described in English law as a void marriage and a decree of nullity was granted.
carries the stigma it once did. The main criticism is that some of the grounds seem archaic and with little relevance today, such as non-consummation, which is notably, not a ground for the annulment of a civil partnership.88
Voidable Marriage Section 12 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
Hirani v Hirani9
This case provides an example of the issues raised under the ground of lack of consent. The petitioner was pressured into marrying a man she had not met. She was threatened with being thrown out by her parents, if she did not marry him, she was wholly dependent on them at the time. She sought an annulment on the basis of lack of consent due to duress. ‘Her will had been overborne by parental pressure.’10 She was granted a decree of nullity.
A voidable marriage is recognized in law, up until the point it is ended with a decree of nullity. The marriage was lawful, but circumstances arose that mean it can now be treated as if it never took place, so it is a defective marriage. Only the parties to the marriage can apply for a decree of nullity, and only during the lifetime of the parties. The grounds for a voidable marriage are also lengthy, but include: • Non-consummation, through incapacity or wilful refusal. • A lack of valid consent to the marriage, resulting from mental illness or duress. • If one party was suffering from a venereal disease. • The respondent was pregnant by another. • One party has an interim gender recognition certificate, under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 issued to them after the marriage, as stated in s.12 MCA.7
A more recent concept, which has been judicially created, is that of non-marriage. This is for marriage attempts that bear no resemblance to the requirements of a valid marriage, even if it had been intended. It cannot even be regarded as void, and will therefore not invoke any marital remedies, apart from a potential claim under schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, if appropriate. As it was created judicially, the case law
There has been widespread criticism of voidable marriage, and that it should be abolished, as it has been in Australia. There are few nullity petitions today, due to the ease of divorce, and that it no longer
8 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 19. 9  4 FLR 232. 10 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 16.
7 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 12.
is of upmost importance.
void. The petition for annulment was denied. This case highlights that the only foreseeable benefit in changing a non-marriage into a void one, would be the availability of a financial remedy.
To understand how the judiciary scrutinises the facts and decide between non-marriage and void marriage, the following cases are useful examples:
Dukali v Lamrani17
Hudson v Leigh11
The parties married at the Moroccan consulate and it complied with Moroccan law but not English, but the parties and the staff believed that it did. It was held to be a non-marriage based ‘wholly on the failure to comply with UK law formalities’.18 This judgment seems to question the test for non-marriage, in light of the fact the ceremony did purport to be a lawful marriage.
This is the leading case for non-marriage. The couple agreed to have two ceremonies, a religious and a civil one, as she was religious and he was not. Mr Leigh subsequently refused to go through with the civil ceremony, and the question arose as to the status of the religious ceremony’.12
In the cases of El Gamal v Al Maktoum19 and Dukali v Lamrani,20 both were declared a non-marriage, even though the parties had intended it to be valid. The intention of the parties has been determined as being of a significant factor in deciding flawed marriage cases, but has often been set-aside in these subsequent cases, even when the ceremonies had purported to be lawful. This demonstrates that intention is perhaps not such an important factor in practice.
Bodey J declared this a non-marriage.13 Neither of the parties at the time of the first ceremony, had believed it to be legally binding. The key considerations that arose from this case was to suggest a test for non-marriage which were; if the ceremony purported to be a lawful marriage, if it bore all or enough of the hallmarks of a marriage, if the key participants understood it to be a lawful marriage and if those in attendance reasonably perceived or believed it to be a subsisting marriage.14
In the journal article ‘The Evolving Concept of NonMarriage’ by R. Probert,21 it refers to suggestions that have been made regarding intention, that it should not be taken into account at all when considering the facts of a case. This also seems to undermine the test for non-marriage, and that intent is often disregarded in favour of the blatant failings in compliance with The Marriage Act 1949.
These requirements were subsequently considered when ruling on the following case, where these factors were taken into account and intent, although important, was not crucial enough to make a nonmarriage into a void one.15
El Gamal v Al Maktoum16
These judgments support the concept in the article, that intention should be irrelevant, and cases should only be decided on the facts of whether the necessary legal requirements to create a valid marriage have been met.
The parties had a Muslim ceremony in a flat, with an authorised Imam. The wife argued that because they intended it to be a valid marriage, this should convert what would normally equate to a non- marriage, into a void one. It is important to note that the respondent was a member of the Dubai royal family, so this petition was most presumably sought for financial gain. Bodey J dismissed her argument, that just because they had the intent, it should be 11  EWHC 1306 (Fam). 12 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 11. 13 Hirani v Hirani  4 FLR 232. 14 ibid 16. 15 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 12. 16  EWHC 3763 (Fam).
Indeed, if a void marriage involves the parties
17  EWHC 1748 (Fam). 18 S Gilmore and L Glennon, Hayes & Williams’ Family Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 12. 19 El Gamal v Al Maktoum  EWHC 3763 (Fam). 20 Dukali v Lamrani  EWHC 1748 (Fam). 21 R. Probert, ‘The Evolving concept of non-marriage’  in Child & Family Law Quarterly 314 – 335.
‘knowingly and wilfully disregarding the full extent of the formal requirements’,22 this should not be rewarded with a financial remedy. The parties are not married in law, so it makes no sense and seems unjust to grant financial remedies equivalent to those who have created a legally valid marriage.
invoke contractual remedies. Marriage is arguably as important, or more so, than contractual agreements, so we must question why the law is so flexible in offering financial reward when the parties have been as careless as to the marriage’s creation. Most of society understands the requirements necessary to obtain a driving licence, or to lawfully obtain a UK passport, as there are strict requirements and consequences for doing so incorrectly. Equally then, it should be realised that those parties who do participate in a flawed marriage, manage to discover the requirements necessary to seek an annulment to get a remedy, so they should also be able to find out the requirements to create a valid marriage too.
The Presumption of Marriage:
The concept evolved in the following case:
Chief Adj v Bath23
A widow was denied a widow’s pension, due to the validity of her marriage being questioned. The couple had lived together as man and wife for over 30 years in the UK and had two children. However, the formalities of the marriage did not meet the requirements of the Marriage Act 1949. Both parties came to the UK as adolescents and married at a very young age, and were unaware of the culture and legal requirements. The pension was eventually granted under the presumption of marriage, as they had lived as a married couple over a long period of time. The husband had also paid social security as a married man. It would have been grossly unfair to deny the pension in such a circumstance. The presumption of marriage should therefore continue to be available for similar cases, where the parties have ‘proven themselves’ by adopting the life of a married couple. An important factor however, must be a minimum amount of time having passed.
A suggestion for the future might include a government verification scheme, where marriages must be finally validated shortly after a marriage has occurred, and those created overseas, could perhaps conduct a basic UK civil process for it to be legally recognized in the UK. This would be costly and administratively time consuming to set up, but so too is the amount of court time taken, and legal and administrative costs involved in the cases that come before the courts seeking clarification as to their legal status. The reason that non-marriage would be preferable to that of void, is that there seems to be little gain in allowing ‘anyone’ to apply for the nullity of a marriage, apart from the couple themselves, and to seek financial reward by requesting annulment upon the death of one party, seems to be grossly unfair, as the deceased has no voice, and will remain unaware of the change and its impact. Void appears to be a mechanism for financial gain, when the parties are not lawfully married. It is unjust to offer financial marital remedies to anyone, unless they are in a legally recognized and valid relationship.
Information regarding the legal formalities in creating valid marriages and civil partnerships should be made readily and easily available, which, arguably, it is, through sources such as the internet and the Citizens Advice Bureau. With the important legal consequences that come with a marriage and civil partnerships, they should be created properly, with forethought and planning, to ensure that they are created lawfully.
The law of nullity does indeed still serve a useful purpose today, as it provides a get out clause if there has been a defect in the newly established marriage previously unknown at the time. Annulment would simply be a way of undoing a recent, legally recognized marriage. In doing this, alongside divorce, non-marriage and the presumption of marriage, would provide a blanket of protection to resolve all marriages in the UK. To enlarge non-marriage, in replacement of void, would help to create more clarity as to how a fundamentally flawed marriage attempt will be viewed by the courts. If parties want
To conclude, if the parties want to rely on legal remedies and protection in the event of a relationship breakdown, the marriage or partnership must be created lawfully. It is similar to any other legal issue. In the law of contracts, there must be an offer, acceptance and consideration. If there is not, a valid binding contract will not exist and therefore not 22 M Oldham, Blackstone’s Statutes on Family Law 2015-2016 (24th edn, OUP 2015) 37. 23  1 FLR 8.
the benefits of marriage and civil partnerships, and the legal protection provided in law, they need to establish it lawfully to qualify.
Marriage Act 1949
<https://www.gov.uk/how-to-annul-marriage/ when-you-can-annul-a-marriage> accessed 27 December 2015 < h t t p : / / w w w. f a m i l y l a w w e e k . c o . u k / s i t e . aspx?i=ed127612> accessed 29 December 2015
Gilmore S and L Glennon, Hayes and Williams Family Law (OUP 2014) Oldham M, Blackstone’s Statutes on Family Law (OUP 2015) Cases
<http://www.farrer.co.uk/Global/1/When_is_ marriage_not_a_marriage.pdf> accessed 15 December 2015
Asaad v Kurter  EWHC 3852 (Fam)
<http://www.lawteacher.net/resources/family-law/ marriage-and-nullity.php> accessed 15 December 2015
Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
‘Consequences of the annulment of a voidable marriage’ (1929) 109 HLR 43
Chief Adj Officer v Bath  1 FLR 8
<http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/birth_ family_relationships/civil_annulment/nullity_of_ marriage.html> accessed 8 January 2016
Dukali v Lamrani  EWHC 1748 (Fam) El Gamal v Maktoum  EWHC 3763 (Fam)
<http://www.inbrief.co.uk/marriage-law/decree-ofnullity.htm > accessed 8 January 2016
Hirani v Hirani 4 FLR 232 P.F. v G.O’M 3 IR 1
<http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2012/02/16/ religious-marriages-what-constitutes-a-validmarriage-inengland-by-guest-blogger-lauraguillon/> accessed 20 December 2015
Journals Probert R, ‘The evolving concept of Non-marriage’ C.F.L.Q. 2013 25(3), 314-335
<http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2012/08/10/voidmarriage-what-happens-when-thevalidity-of-amarriage-is-questioned/> accessed 20 December 2016
Ryan Fergus W, ‘Reversal of fortune in nullity law in age of divorce’, Dublin University Law Journal 2000 FL Leech S and Young R, ‘Marriage, divorce and ancillary relief under the HRA 1998 – an introduction’, European HR LR 2001
Statutes Children Act 1989 Gender Recognition Act 2004 Human Rights Act 1998 Legitimacy Act 1976 33
MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES Subject Editor: Lelloucha Hamadache
What role did social media play in the Egyptian revolutions of 2011?
written by HARRIET CONTI that satellite television played as large or an even greater role in rallying the cause and bringing people together. Whilst those involved in the uprising such as Wael Ghonim argue that digital media was decisive in every factor of the uprising and in its ultimate success. As time goes on and writing on the topic expands, opinions by scholars will change and evolve, and subsequent uprisings and the use of social media within them will act as a point of comparison. However, at this stage it is difficult to, firstly, look at who has a stronger argument and secondly, why they cannot agree about what role digital media played in Egypt’s revolution.
his century has seen the doubling of the Egyptian population: Meaning a large generation of young people, many of whom are educated but subsequently unemployed, and significantly are engaging with the growing number of internet facilities to communicate with like-minded individuals and engage with politics. The role of social media in the Arab Spring as a whole, and Egypt specifically, was arguably great, with many saying that if it were not for the existence and employment of social media, Hosni Mubarak would still be in power. However, to conclude whether or not this argument is true, a number of issues must be explored and analysed. On the one hand, the impact that the media had must be analysed: firstly, the role it played in mobilising people in Egypt, and secondly, the role it played internationally in promoting the plight of the Egyptian people. On the other hand, there are the other factors that impacted the Egyptian revolutions in 2011, and whether these were subordinate to the role of social media. This can be explored by looking at the way in which people were mobilised in Nasser’s revolution of 1952. Secondly, the role of other methods of communication, such as face-to-face interactions and older media types such as satellite television channels must be considered. Finally, this essay will conclude that the success of the Egyptian revolutions was the result of different methods of communication, along with a disgruntled and determined youth, working together and complimenting one another. A short mention of the evolving historiography of this topic must be made, as already there is an abundance of scholarly work on the topic despite events having happened relatively recently. This proves that people really are fascinated in the role that social media did or did not play- meaning that this question is one of interest to historians today. However, what is even more interesting is the fact that there are such conflicting answers to the question, despite scholars only having written on the topic for approximately four years. Many scholars, often Western, argue that social media played some part in the uprising, but
There is no doubt that cyber-activism, a 21st century phenomenon, played a large and quite unexpected role in the protests of the resentful youth who were protesting in Tahir Square. There is evidence that digital media helped to form a collective and played a large part in the ignition of the uprising. Many scholars argue that it acted as a cohesive force in forming a strong collective of aggrieved youth. In an article by Philip Howard and Muzammil Hussein, they argue that young Egyptians ‘found solidarity through digital media’, suggesting that it was decisive
in bringing people together and establishing a common cause. The founding of this collective emerged during the Kefaya Protest in 2004 during which bloggers came together and communicated their grievances about the regime, this was built upon during the April 6th Movement in 2008 and culminated in the successful overthrow of Mubarak in 2011. Furthermore, many contest that digital media actually facilitated the ignition of the protest in 2011 with the ‘We Are All Khaled Said’, Facebook page that attracted many followers: it had a huge shock factor, depicting graphic images of the brutal beating of a young Egyptian man by the police. It is true that the forming of a collective and, most probably, the ignition of the uprising would have happened with or without new media outlets as these people had real, deep-rooted grievances about Mubarak’s regime that were certainly not created online. However, a strong argument for digital media was the freedom it awarded to its users, as it was not vetted or censored like traditional media. This meant that the beating of Khaled Said for example, was not only broadcast but also widely known about in Egypt. This alone shows that new media opened Mubarak’s regime up to a set of new vulnerabilities- the regime’s strict censorship laws didn’t constrain social media. Looking at new media’s impact on the cause of the protest shows an element of its role, however, what impact did it have on the organisation and mobilisation of the protesters as it took place?
media accounts is relatively small, it shows that those that were technologically savvy used this to their advantage during the protests. In addition to this, there is evidence that from the 4th-11th of February, the number of tweets sent in Egypt doubled, evidence that it was an important tool for many people in Egypt during the protests. Similarly to the causes of the protest, the protest may have been successfully executed without social media, however there is certainly a direct relationship between the use of social media and the mobilisation of people in Tahir Square and other hubs of protest in Egypt. However, without looking at the other forms of media and the role that they played, a conclusion cannot be reached about whether or not digital media was decisive in the victory of the protesters. To conclude this section, Wael Ghonim, a member of the Egyptian ‘digerati’ in 2011, propagates the view that social media played a decisive role in the rebellion within Egypt: ‘I have always said if you want to liberate a society just give them the internet’. There is, therefore, a plethora of evidence that digital media played a large role within Egypt in forming a collective of liberal-minded youth, igniting the protests and aiding in the organisation and mobilisation of protesters. However, this is only the effect that it had within Egypt, it is also important to consider how social media drew the attention of international commentators and governments into the uprising.
The mobilisation and coordination of protesters during the Egyptian revolutions was, arguably, the most important role played by social media during the uprising. Wolfsfeld argues that social media enabled efficient mobilisation; getting people to the same place at the same time. Protests in the past have been spread either via word of mouth or through old media such as propaganda pamphlets or television. However none of these methods allow people to communicate quickly or widely, to a large group of people. For this reason, ‘Twitter became the defacto organisational tool of the protesters’, and the channel through which they communicated resulted in huge numbers of people gathering in Tahir Square, for example. There are graphs that show that spikes in social media activity directly correlated to movement on the ground and the decrease in distance between protesters. Furthermore, evidence collected from the protesters show that of the 52% of Egyptians that had Facebook, 51% used it to protest and of the 16% owning Twitter accounts, 13% used them during the protests. While the percentage of those with social
Some scholars claim that during the revolution, digital media ‘more likely spread information outside the region than inside it, acting like a megaphone more than a rallying cry’, suggesting that it played a greater role in involving international commentators than within Egypt itself in organising protesters and forming a collective. It is true that new media played a huge role in alerting people all over the world to the uprisings, and more importantly, to the repressive acts of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. It is important, in this study, to look at the extent to which international commentators were involved via social media and, furthermore, whether it led to a shift in the attitudes of certain western governments towards Mubarak’s government. The globalising nature of networks such as Twitter, meant that news of the Egyptian uprising spread quickly throughout the world with the ‘#Egypt’ becoming the most popular hashtag on Twitter in 2011, meaning it was the most talked about topic internationally on Twitter in that year. While it gave people worldwide an idea of who and how many 36
people were protesting, it also alerted the world to the atrocities committed by Mubarak’s regime. For example, The Guardian in Britain reported on the arrest and torture, by police, of Mohammed Abdelfattah using his twitter stream. This shows that the use of social media in Egypt was synthesised by international media networks such as newspapers, to report on the revolutions; this is significant when looking at the role of digital media during the revolutions in Egypt. This international commentary resulted in an international intervention of sorts into the conflict.
importantly, international governments would not had to have changed their stance towards Mubarak’s government. If it can be proved that social media did actually play a part in shifting the attitudes and diplomatic stances of western governments from supporting Mubarak’s regime, to supporting a group of young protesters, then social media played an unprecedented role in the Egyptian revolutions of 2011. The West’s involvement in political affairs in the Middle East has been contested ever since their push for democracy in the region prompted by the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in America. However, from 2005 onwards there was a shift in their goals from democracy to the support of the autocratic regimes in power in places such as Egypt. This was due to the fact that they believed that they could control regimes like Mubarak’s and, in the same vein, prevent a power vacuum that could facilitate the rise of revolutionary or extremist groups. For this reason, in 2011 western governments were still in support of Mubarak, despite suspicions of his crimes against his own people. However, this changed in 2011, as Salvatore explains ‘the rapid shift from the initial international support for the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes due to fear of instability and an Islamist takeover towards sympathy for the goals of the revolution’. One
The revolution sparked the interest of foreign scholars and even foreign governments in a forum in which people could freely support these rebels and express symbols and signs of solidarity with the protesters. Furthermore, as demonstrated by the case of Mohammed Abdelfattah, the spread of images and stories from within Egypt was not restricted by the censorship laws that applied to old media types such as newspapers and television networks in Egypt. Therefore, it could be argued that without the employment of digital media during the Arab Spring the outside world would have never known the realities of the regime’s brutality. Meaning that, the emotional reaction and support given by people globally would not have been reached and, more 37
questions whether this shift would have happened without the use of digital media within the region, and why it was that governments changed their positions on Mubarak. Using the evidence within this essay regarding the impact of social media, it can be firmly argued that without social media western governments would have continued to support the Mubarak regime. The reason for this is that without social media the whole uprising would have been reported completely differently, international media would have relied on reports for state media within Egypt, which would have been in favour of Mubarak. Furthermore, with the western public so engaged in the revolution, government support for the regime that the protesters, and the international community supporting them, were against. Overall, therefore, it can be argued that social media played a large role in how the revolution was reported internationally and, larger still, the way in which western governments conducted themselves in the region. The quote from the ‘United States Institute of Peace’, arguing that digital media played a larger role internationally than in Egypt has substantial evidence. However, to truly gage the role of social media within and outside Egypt during the 2011 protests the other channels of communication before and during the protests must be examined. Only after this can a conclusion be made about the role of social media in the success of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
people willing to also protest against government. It is, therefore, right to say that social media provided a platform for people to form a collective identity to protest; however, that is not to say that social media was a cause in igniting the uprising. Secondly, it is important to look at the last major revolution in Egypt, in 1952, during which Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk and turned Egypt into a republic; how he mobilised and organised his protest movement, a movement successful enough to end a country’s monarchy. The overarching argument in literature about this revolution is that Nasser used the ideology and beliefs of his cause to mobilise people, get them together and succeed in his revolution. He propagated a nationalist, pan-Arab Egypt that appealed to the masses and was reason enough for thousands of people to back his Liberation Rally and successfully overthrow King Farouk. This would suggest that if the cause was large and enough people believed in it, then a successful revolution could be carried out. However, Nasser’s Liberation Rally did not have international support unlike the 2011 uprisings, support that was a direct outcome of digital media. Therefore, in terms of the mobilisation of people during the protests it could be argued that while digital media may have made communication between protesters faster, the uprising may well have been successful without it, as people had a real cause to fight for. However, Nasser’s revolution may have been greatly helped by having international support knowing that a successive government had a chance of gaining legitimacy with international backing if an overthrow was successful. Overall, social media played some role in mobilising protestors although it was not decisive in the success of the revolution.
Therefore, this part of the study will examine the other forms of communication that were used in the revolutions: firstly, how a collective may have been formed without the cohesive force of social media and secondly, using Nasser’s Revolution of 1952 as an example; how people would have mobilised and organised themselves in the absence of social media and, finally, the traditional media such as Al Jazeera and the role it played in the uprising. Many scholars, as previously mentioned in this essay, argue that a collective would have formed with or without social media, as these were real grievances they were protesting against. And with an, ‘educated middleclass youth’, knowledge of politics and the problems in the economy was expected whether these complaints were voiced through media or not. These grievances were a result of, ‘price increases, stagnant wages and high rates of unemployment ‘. Digital media did not create these problems in Egypt’s economy, rather there were endemic problems in Egypt and an uprising was almost inevitable. The only argument in favour of social media’s role in causing the uprising is the fact that people could easily find like-minded
Thirdly, what has not yet been examined in this study but is extremely important in determining the role of new media in the Egyptian uprising is the role that old media networks played and the impact they had. Al Jazeera is an extremely influential satellite television channel in the Middle East that addresses topical and sometimes controversial issues within the region and has extremely wide viewership. The satellite television network has been around much longer than social media and arguably ‘has pushed most strongly in a homogenizing direction’, suggesting that it acted as a cohesive force in the run up to the protests in Egypt. In fact, Mubarak perceived Al Jazeera as a real threat, closing its offices in 2011 during the protests; this alone proves that Al Jazeera played nearly as large a role as social media which Mubarak also attempted to 38
shut down during the uprising. Overall, Al Jazeera as a form of old media played a large role in the protests by rallying people around the cause and reaching a large proportion of the Egyptian population; in the words of Salvatore it was a ‘revolution of Al Jazeera’ not a ‘revolution of Facebook’.
is an exaggeration and cannot be substantiated by existing evidence. However, data does suggest that new media outlets collaborated with more traditional forms of communication and media such as face-to-face communication and satellite television and aided in the mobilisation of people during the uprising. Although, from the 1952 Nasser Revolution in Egypt and the 2011 uprising it is clear that the core factor in the ignition, mobilisation and success of the rebellion was the cause that people were fighting for. People had deep-rooted grievances about the dictatorship they were living under and it is clear that with this determination and anger, the people would have risen up with or without the aid of social media and may well have found success such as they did with the use of new media. Nasser proved this in 1952, during which he mobilised the Liberation Rally under the nationalist, pan-Arab cause. However, from evidence still emerging it is clear that those involved felt that social media played the role of helping to form a collective, mobilising protesters and, arguably its largest role, gaining protesters the support of international governments who had previously backed Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
However, as this essay shows, the role of social media in the Egyptian revolutions of 2011 does not have a simple, one sentence conclusion. It appears that the types of communications used during the protest were all part of a complex, interrelated relationship, they all worked together to form a successful protest. Meaning that one was not more important than the other in the uprising, and to examine this relationship a number of elements must be analysed: how the internet bolstered the already revolutionary spirit, how it interacted with television networks such as Al Jazeera. Firstly, on an emotional level, social media helped to put a face to political oppression, both, within Egypt and for people around the world; this appealed to people’s emotions and won the movement a lot of support. This was particularly important in drawing in foreign support and a huge role in shifting government opinion. Although it may have made a difference abroad, there is not much evidence that it made a decisive difference within Egypt. However, being the first uprising in which digital media has been used, people are bound to speculate about the role of social media and how large a part it played in the success of the protest.
Works Cited: Aday, S. and Farrell, H. and Lynch, M. and Sides, J. and Freelon, D. ‘New Media and Conflict After the Arab Spring’, in United States Institute of Peace, No. 80 (July 2012), pp 1-24.
Secondly, in terms of the relationship between new media and old media, evidence suggests that new media actually complimented the old media outlets such as Al Jazeera. Both Al Jazeera and the internet acted as forums for controversial discussion and debate; things that were mentioned on Al Jazeera were then discussed on the internet. It is also important to note that television stations, while broadcasting the events in Egypt, used images and information that was circulating the social media sphere. This evidence suggests that the two forms of media worked together to spread information, rally the cause, form a collective and mobilise the protesters of Egypt to successfully overthrow their dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Selim, G.M. ‘The United States and the Arab Spring: The Dynamics of Political Engineering’, in Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol. 35 (Summer 2013), pp. 255272.
In conclusion, the role of social media in the Egyptian revolutions in 2011 was quite large and was, certainly, a new phenomenon for protest movements as a whole. However, to argue that without social media the Egyptian protests would not have been successful 39
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MODERN LANGUAGES Subject Editor: Ellie Richardson
The Conversational Functions of Code-Switching: a French-Focussed Explanation and Analysis
written by HARRY WOOLDRIDGE
ode-switching (henceforth CS) is a phenomenon of language contact which usually takes place between capable bilinguals. According to Grosjean’s definition (1982 cit. in Winford 2003, p.102), it involves, at a basic level, the alternate use of two or more codes, which could be either languages or dialects, within the same utterance or stretch of discourse. CS is not, however, necessarily confined to stable bilingual conversation; some linguists believe it also takes place in second language acquisition (henceforth SLA) situations. In equipping interlocutors with greater lexical inventories, CS alters the syntax and phonology of a conversation, and serves as a powerful communicative tool, capable of facilitating a range of interpretations and providing finer shades of meaning. It has a range of triggers and its use is consistently governed by various motivations. Naturally, the functionality of CS in conversation is a cause for debate.
not see the alternation of strict diglossic speech communities, such as Haiti, as CS, because the existence of H(igh) and L(ow) languages, which bear different connotations and are assigned to specific domains, limits linguistic freedom. To further refine the parameters of CS, others, like Auer (1995, p.116) discard instances of ‘non-contiguous’ speech, as well as matters of style, such as alternating between vernacular and standard forms of a language. Other linguists, like Winford (p.103) do not believe the language mixture, or ‘interference phenomena’, taking place in SLA situations (or ‘exolingual bilingual’ conversations, as they are termed by Lüdi (1987 cit. in Winford, p.103)), to be CS.
CS is an increasingly global linguistic phenomenon of bilingual communities, owing to numerous sociohistorical and geographical factors contributing to more frequent contact between languages, both nationally and locally (Winford, p.101). Map 1 (above) evidences the extent of worldwide linguistic heterogeneity. In countries with high levels of bilingualism, like Papua New Guinea (where some 820 languages coexist), inevitable crossover between different linguistic repertoires makes the conversational functions of CS somewhat innate to everyday communication.
The Basic Conversational Functions of CS
This essay will, for purposes of clarity, work with Auer’s four patterns of CS (1995 cit. in Winford, p.103). The functions of CS within conversation will be studied independently from other language contact phenomena. Alternating and inserting elements of speech in conversation can have many uses for speakers. The many reasons that lead interlocutors to switch codes can be considered under the two fundamental categories of social and pragmatic motivations.
At a basic level, linguists differentiate between insertional and alternational CS. To study their functions, the types of language contact that feature CS must be established; not all scholars agree as to which types of language alternation are technically classified as CS (Winford, p.102). These opinions are not hard and fast rules, but rather are presented by way of information. For example, Myers-Scotton (1993b cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.69) does 41
Myers-Scotton’s Markedness Model and Rational Choice Model (1983 cit. in Milroy and Muysken 1995, p.125) can help to identify a basic function of CS. Bilingual interlocutors are seen as ‘rational actors’ whose linguistic choices are conditioned by social constraints. Therefore, in order to create various meanings or make a point, speakers may consciously switch codes in conversation and choose to abide, or not, by the social ‘norm’, selecting either the ‘unmarked’, expected code or the unexpected, ‘marked’ code. The study of vernacular CS in AliBencherif ’s French Thesis (2009) helped explain this function. For example, I watched a news report following the Paris terror attacks in which a French journalist, a visibly upset eyewitness and a reporter
exploits for communicative effect. In example (2) (Appendix 1), a personal Whatsapp conversation in which the discourse related switch corresponds to Auer’s pattern II CS, switching proves useful to differentiate and split up semantic elements, and reveals the speaker’s satisfaction with being let in. Speaker 2 (white messages) uses French to detail the problematic situation, and switches to English (underlined in red) to explain how it was practically resolved. In this way, CS enables speakers to convey a range of messages and emotions.
conversed about the tragedy. The reporter, as a ‘rational actor,’ switched from formal French to the Parisian vernacular ‘verlan’ to address the witness: (1) Raccontez-nous, le keum était-il un beur? ‘Tell us, was the man Arabic?’ (French/Verlan, Speaker 1, Radio France Culture Bourmeau, November 2015) Use of ‘verlan’ is a marked choice in the formal context of a radio interview: CS allows the speaker to make their interlocutor feel comfortable on television, especially in a time of such clear distress, and evokes solidarity in this desperate situation. This switch creates a striking contrast, and is motivated by a change of participant constellation, according to Auer’s taxonomy of CS triggers (1995 cit. in Winford, p.117). CS, then, can tailor conversation, making it more relevant to the interlocutor. This function of CS is described as ‘metaphorical’ by Blom and Gumperz (1972 cit. in Winford, p.115), Another basic conversational use of CS is that of conveying different levels of speaker implication in a message, observed by Gumperz (1982 cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.66). For example, a speaker may alternate between two languages, using one to talk about a problem and another to explain how it was resolved, illustrating, for Gumperz, the extent to which the speaker feels implicated in the message. Each code is pre-assigned a function, which CS
Comparing the conversational functions of CS in different bilingual settings: a recent immigrant community and a classic bilingual situation.
This case study will consider both a newer, therefore more unstable case (the CS of Iberian immigrants in Grenoble, France) and a more classic, thus more equal case of bilingualism (the switching observed in an English-French bilingual family, henceforth Family X). Their parallels and contrasts will be drawn, and this case study will act as a vehicle to study some specific functions of CS. Louise Dabène and Daniele Moore’s study (1995) (henceforth LD and DM) demonstrates the greater instability of the immigrants’ bilingual repertoires compared with the bilingual Family X I observed. The immigrants’ mismatched proficiency in either language means that the conversational applications of CS are rather different to those observed in Family X, who are
equally competent bilinguals.
(French/Spanish, LD & DM, 1995: p.34)
Let us first consider the Iberian immigrants. For LD & DM, the conversational functions of CS for the second generation are largely dependent upon their competence in their parents’ mother tongue (henceforth L1), Spanish (1995: p.27). Generally, their upbringing in France causes a preference for and fluency in French, their own L1 language. For some second-generation speakers, ‘relative mastery’ (1995: p.39) of Spanish allows them to converse utilising a multilingual repertoire and to be linguistically creative with CS, under what LD & DM label ‘functional bilingualism’ (1995: p.37), and view as balanced bilingual speech. The CS of these interlocutors might be said to resemble Auer’s pattern III CS, whereby, when conversing, one single base language cannot be identified due to the inter-sentential CS of speakers. For example:
In this way, CS can bridge a communication gap between individuals with unequal language abilities; a level of competence in an L2 can foster dialogue through CS. Hamers and Blanc (1989 cit. in Winford, p.108), however, see this type of mixture, which can also be characteristic of a learner’s ‘interlanguage’ (Lüdi 1987) within SLA and language shift processes, as ‘incompetence code switching’. Such instances of CS among individuals may account for the lack of any major French-Spanish contact vernaculars in France; CS serves as a valid compromise (LD & DM, p.39) By contrast, in more traditional family bilingual settings, conversations between speakers of dual competence allow CS to function more intricately. For Myers-Scotton (1999, cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009 p.69) CS can be an ‘exploratory’ choice, allowing speakers to experiment with different codes in order to achieve an end in conversation. For example, when working with Family X at a Château in Picardy, I observed switching in the conversations between the owner (Speaker 2) and his young son (Speaker 3), both French-English bilinguals. Although English served as the base language of interaction, when Speaker 2 needed to assert his authority with a command, he would code-switch from English to French, causing Speaker 3 to take notice:
Yo mañana empiezo, me levanto a las siete de la mañana, je suis malade rien que de le savoir ‘Tomorrow, I start working, I’ve got to get up at 7 o’clock, I feel sick just thinking about it’ (Spanish/French, LD & DM, 1995: p.36) For Myers-Scotton (1993a, cit. in Winford p.104), such CS can be a tactic of neutrality, and in this case is often motivated by the different connotations that use of either language implies, given that Spanish and French serve as markers of different identities, and correlate to certain social categories.
Joe, you’re being annoying. Please stop. Arrête ça immédiatement! ‘Joe, you’re being annoying. Please stop. Stop that now!’ (English/French, Speaker 2, July 2015, Picardy)
For other, less educated second and first-generation migrants, however, reduced competence in Spanish and French respectively inhibits the ability of CS to convey culturally nuanced and specific meaning, limiting CS to a symbolic, instead of communicative function (LD & DM, p.26). For first-generation migrants, CS is characterised by a lower awareness of the linguistic structures of their L2 French, and gives rise to what LD & DM (1995: p.37) call ‘complementary bilingualism’. Older immigrant speakers code-switch as a tool to make up for their deficient knowledge of the host lexicon, falling back on their superior command of Spanish when struggling to convey a message in French. For example, typical of Auer’s pattern I CS, speakers may make a token effort and switch for discourse connectors, then revert to their preferred L1:
Mais, es por eso que nunca las he probado ‘But, that’s why I never tasted them’
In this relationship, the English and French codes bear different connotations, with the former serving more ludic, everyday functions and the latter functioning as a medium of disciplining. For Myers-Scotton (1993a cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.66), when speakers code-switch, there exists a contrast between the ‘allocational’ paradigm, where social boundaries govern linguistic choices, and the ‘interactional’ one, in which speakers rationally choose linguistic elements for conversational effect. (5) shows use of CS in the ‘interactional’ paradigm: Speaker 2 rationally changed code, creating a stark contrast. Speaker 3’s misbehavior caused a point of switch and triggered the use of French, a language selected, in this case, because for both speakers it is associated with urgency and directness. For Milroy and Gordon (2003, cit. in Gardner-Chloros p.66),
who also juxtapose social and pragmatic uses of CS, the above would be an instance of pragmatically utilising each language to achieve an end, not just taking advantage of the disparity between the two codes. The switch to French, intensified by a raised tone of voice, was effective; as such, CS can fulfill a very practical function. Such linguistic mediation also features in intra-family communication in the Iberian migrant setting, as parents code-switch between host and home languages. This example may fall under what Blom and Gumperz (1972 cit. in Winford, p.116) term situational CS; however, although Breitborde (1983 cit. in Winford, p.116) values the distinction between aforementioned metaphorical and situational CS, other linguists, like Pride (1979 cit. in Winford p.116), consider the difference to be ambiguous. To further analyse (5), Speaker 2’s frustration can be inferred by his omission, in code-switching to French, of the softening sentence-final particle ‘please’, highlighting the power of CS to change the mood. Interestingly, Speaker 3 would favour his L3, Dutch, to apologize to his father (‘Het spijt me echt’), but occasionally would employ English to talk back cheekily (‘No I’m not, Daddy’). Different attitudes, then, are evoked by different codes, reinforcing this ‘discourse-related’ (Auer 1995 cit. in Winford p.103) function of CS, again characteristic of Auer’s pattern I CS. If this were interpreted as a diglossic situation, it would reflect the third general motive behind CS posited by Gumperz (1977 cit. in Winford p.116), that of ‘choice of H to add seriousness to commands directed at a child’. It should be remembered that, while Family X switch codes with total freedom, the discourse-related function of CS can be restricted for the Iberian migrants outside the home, since their linguistic freedom is limited by community norms and values.
- No t’a pe dit? ‘He didn’t tell you?’ B - No porque hay sus primos ‘No, because his cousins are there’ (French/Spanish, LD & DM, p.32) This exchange exhibits the accommodation function of CS exploited by the Iberians (Coupland, 1985 cit. in Gardner-Chloros p.79). Such functions are linked to varying levels of bilingualism between the generations: even though C temporarily switches to her less favoured French to accommodate her interlocutor, B responds in his less familiar Spanish, also to accommodate the other speaker. Indeed, Gardner-Chloros (2009: p.78) views CS to have the similar function of ‘audience design.’ Citing Coupland (1985), CS is seen as a technique used to adapt to preferences, and as a compromise between two codes in social situations, like this one, where different languages might have different implications. This application is linked to the politeness function of CS, outlined in Brown and Levinson’s Politeness Theory (1978 cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.65). For both interlocutors, CS acts as a positive politeness strategy that attempts to make the other more comfortable in conversation, enabling each to maintain ‘positive face’ (Kitamura 2000, para. 4). CS, therefore, enables speakers to intelligently use their languages to improve communication, allowing for politeness in different, culturally specific ways. Furthermore, (6) highlights the ‘addressee specification’ of CS that Gumperz suggests (1982 cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.79): speakers freely select a suitable code to address specific interlocutors, and consciously avoid what Gumperz terms ‘flagged’ switches, such as the insertion of a conversational marker. Here, conversation flows freely, a stilted style is avoided, and the communication gap is successfully bridged. These two different perspectives make it clear that in contrasting settings, the conversational functions of CS are far from mutually exclusive, and are equally complex and useful. For the immigrants, the function of CS can largely be seen as convergent accommodation (detailed in Howard Giles’ Communication Accommodation Theory (1987 cit. in Winford, p.119)), serving to reduce linguistic differences and therefore allow cultural assimilation; this can often yield economic and social benefits, according to Giles et. al. (1991 cit. in Winford p.121). For Family X, CS is ingrained in daily conversation and is crucial in expressing complex messages, different languages being associated with different messages; a ‘contextualisation cue’, for Gumperz (1982 cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.67).
In terms of intra-family communication in Grenoble, second-generation immigrant Iberian children tend to switch codes when addressing their siblings, who favour the host French, and parents, who favour their home L1 Spanish. This language selection, known as homodialectal adhesion (LD & DM, p.32) is considered, by some, as code choice as opposed to inter-utterance CS. Such participant related alternation is shown below in a discussion between parents and children about Christmas guests: (6) A (son) - Luis, il vient? ‘Is Luis coming?’ B (Luis’s friend) - J’sais pas ‘I don’t know’
in Winford, p.110) likens the effectiveness of CS between skilled bilinguals to monolingual discourse. Evidently, it functions as a powerful communicative tool, likely to be able to convey even more nuanced messages than monolingual, L1-L1 speech. However, it is worth noting that some linguists, like Singh (1985 cit. in Winford, p.105), consider single morpheme switches between two codes, or ‘nonce borrowings’, as they are termed by Sankoff et al. (1986 cit. in Winford, p.106), not to be examples of CS, but rather of code mixing: a phenomenon more affiliated with lexical borrowing (henceforth LB). Kachru (1978 cit. in Winford p.105) echoes this sentiment, reserving the term ‘CS’ for the first three of Auer’s four patterns of CS. This view diminishes the value of CS as an expressive medium and instead places value on borrowing, highlighting the scholarly debate on the status of such switches. Other linguists, however, disagree that CS is merely an extension of LB, proposing LB to be diachronic whereas CS is synchronic. Nevertheless, CS remains a complex expressive device of great communicative value within conversation. Often, then, the conversational functions that can be attributed to CS come down to where the boundary is drawn between CS and LB. The degree of morphophonemic integration of the switched words, together with the extent to which monolinguals adopt them, are suggested as two deciding factors (lecture 4, slide 8).
Further Analysis: More Specific Types of CS and their Roles in Conversation
Yet another function of CS is the insertion of single lexical items into speech without altering the language of communication, characteristic of Auer’s pattern IV alternation. The following is an excerpt of speech observed in France, and exemplifies this intra-clause CS. A vineyard owner, Speaker 4, uses French as the auxiliary language to speak to a French-English bilingual friend on the phone. The owner’s insertion of single English lexical items into an otherwise French sentence (or, as Myers-Scotton puts it in linguistic terms, her insertion of embedded English language islands into the French matrix language (1993b cit. in Winford, p.105)), presents a mixture of codes:
Finally, an important limiting factor on the conversational applications of CS must be mentioned: the attitudes of speakers. A negative perception of any linguistic phenomenon can cause it to decline, and in the case of Arabic-French bilingualism in Morocco, Bentahila (1983 cit. in Gardner-Chloros 2009, p.81) discovered that a majority saw CS to connote a lack of education, rudeness or incompetence. In this way, cultural stereotypes of CS mean its communicative functions are not always taken advantage of.
Mais vous le savez très bien: le British climate n’est pas propice aux vignes! ‘But you’re well aware: the British climate is not good for growing grapes!’ (French/English, Speaker 4, Saint-Émilion, August 2015) As Gardner-Chloros (1995: 73-4) observes, these single switches serve to provide alternatives to native equivalents and plug lexical gaps in the recipient language (French). Although an accurate French translation exists, Speaker 4 exploits her interlocutor’s knowledge of rainy British weather to convey an anecdote more precisely, without needing to translate into French. Indeed, Romaine (1989 cit.
Having studied CS in some depth, though by no means exhaustively, we can conclude that CS represents an extremely versatile expressive device and a ‘continuum of language behaviours’ (Winford 2003: 125), overlapping with LB and SLA processes. Some linguists take away from the functions of CS in conversation, seeing these ‘switches’ as borrowings; others see it as being severely constrained by various factors. However, the alternation and insertion of different codes constitutes a communicative device that features in the daily conversations of millions of people throughout the world, owing to
its effectiveness in facilitating better communication between people and in enriching conversation. A multifunctional tool, CS serves speakers on a micro and macro level, making it possible to convey subtle meanings, adapt to and diplomatically accommodate interlocutors, aid communication, and ultimately, achieve communicative objectives. The conversational functions of CS are intrinsic to human interaction and development individually and collectively, and as social and economic advancement continue, CS is bound to become increasingly widespread and essential to successful communication.
(1) Example (2)
dialectal/français dans des conversations bilingues de locuteurs algériens immigrés/non-immigrés, Université Abou Bakr BELKAÏD de Tlemcen (Algérie), viewed 31 December 2015, https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel00496990/document. Auer, P 1995, ‘The pragmatics of code-switching: a sequential approach’, in L Milroy and P Muysken (eds), One speaker, two languages, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.115-35. Bentahila, A 1983, Language Attitudes Among Arabic– French Bilinguals in Morocco, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, in P Gardner-Chloros, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Blom, J P and Gumperz, J 1972, ‘Social meaning in linguistic structures: code-switching in Norway’, in J J Gumperz and D Hymes (eds) Directions in Sociolinguistics, 407-34, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. Bourmeau, S 2015, La Suite dans les Idées, radio programme, France Culture Radio, 15 November 2015. Breitborde, L B 1983, ‘Levels of analysis in sociolinguistic explanation’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 39, 5-34, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford Brown, P and Levinson, S 1978 ‘Universals in language usage: politeness phenomena’, Question and politeness, Esther N. Goody (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, in P Gardner-Chloros, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Coupland, N 1985, ‘Hark hark the lark: social motivations for phonological styleshifting’, Language and Communication 5, 153–171, in P GardnerChloros, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- ‘Do you know what happened yesterday? I went to the library but forgot my card! Silly me!’ - ‘Oh no! Did you have to go home?’ - ‘In fact, luckily I just asked the guy and he let me in’ - ‘That was lucky! Problem solved’ (French/English, Speaker 2, September 2015)
Dabène, L and Moore, D 1995, ‘Bilingual speech of migrant people’, in L Milroy and P Muysken (eds), One speaker, two languages, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.17-44. Gardner-Chloros, P 1995, ‘Code-switching in community, regional and national repertoires: the myth of the discreteness of linguistic systems’, in L Milroy and P Muysken (eds) One Speaker, Two Languages: CrossDisciplinary Perspectives on Code Switching, 68-89, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Works Cited: Primary Sources:
Ali-Bencherif, MZ 2009, L’alternance codique arabe
Gardner-Chloros, P 2009, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
44, 115–136, in L Milroy and P Muysken (eds), One speaker, two languages, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.115-35. Myers-Scotton, C 1993a, Social Motivations for CodeSwitching: Evidence from Africa, Clarendon Press, Oxford, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Giles, H, Mulac, A, Bradac, JJ and Johnson, P 1987, ‘Speech accommodation theory: the next decade and beyond’, in M Mclaughlin (ed.) Communication Yearbook 10, 13-48, Sage, Newbury Park, Calif., in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Myers-Scotton, C 1993b, Dueling Languages: Grammatical Structure in Code-Switching, in P Gardner-Chloros, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Grosjean, F 1982, Life with Two Languages: An Introduction to Bilingualism, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Myers-Scotton, C 1993b, Dueling Languages: Grammatical Structure in Code-Switching, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Gumperz, J 1977, ‘The social significance of conversational code-switching’, Regional English Language Center Journal 8.2, 1-34, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Myers-Scotton, C 1999, ‘Explaining the role of norms and rationality in codeswitching’, Journal of Pragmatics 32, pp. 1259–1271, in P Gardner-Chloros, CodeSwitching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Gumperz, J 1982, ‘Discourse Strategies’, 2nd ed., in Gardner-Chloros, Code-Switching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Pride, J B 1979, ‘A transactional view of speech functions and code-switching’, in W McCormack and S Wurm (eds) Language and Society, 27-53, Mouton, The Hague, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Hamers, J and Blanc, M H A 1989, Bilinguality and Bilingualism, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Romaine, S 1989, Bilingualism, Blackwell, Oxford, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Kachru, B 1978, ‘Toward structuring code mixing: an Indian perspective, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 16, 27-47, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Sankoff, D, Poplack, S, Vanniarajan, S 1986, The Case of the Nonce Loan in Tamil, Technical Report 1348, Centre du récherches mathematiques, University of Montréal, in D Winford, An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Kitamura, N 2000, ‘Adapting Brown and Levinson’s ‘Politeness’ Theory to the Analysis of Casual Conversation’, viewed 01/01/16, http://www.als.asn.au/ proceedings/als2000/kitamura.pdf.
Singh, R 1985, ‘Grammatical constraints switching: evidence from Hindi-English’, Journal of Linguistics 30, 33-45, in D An Introduction to Contact Linguistics, Publishing, Oxford.
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on code Canadian Winford, Blackwell
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SOCIAL SCIENCES Subject Editor: Zaina Mahmoud
“Nothing can ever be said”: The logical problem with language, and why it’s not our problem. written by REBECCA MACKAY
T his essay attempts to explore language: what it is, how it functions, and why it is a largely inadequate
assignment of signified to signifier is entirely arbitrary, an arbitrariness which is only possible because the system of signs is denoted by ‘the differences between the terms and not their fullness’ (Derrida 262). By the very fact that ‘cat’ does not signify ‘dog’, the assignment of the signifier ‘cat’ to the signified cat is arbitrary; there is no reason as to why ‘cat’ does not signify ‘dog’ except that conventional language has denoted it does not.
mode of communication. At a basic level, language consists of words. These words, and what they represent, are given meaning only when viewed within the context of a larger linguistic system: language. According to Saussure, a word may only function as a sign provided that it is constructed from both a signifier and the signified. ‘An idea is fixed in a sound and a sound becomes the sign of an idea’ (Saussure 35), but alone the sound lacks meaning; it is only when that sound is ascribed something to represent, that it becomes a sign. A fantasy author may create words or phrases that to an outsider have no significance: to the large majority, ‘Mord Sith’ (Goodkind 594) is a meaningless phoneme, because there is nothing this signifier can signify within reality. It is, for all intents and purposes, gibberish. Yet to the select few who have seen the phrase within the context of Terry Goodkind’s fantasy series, the word evokes what that reader knows as an image of fear: ‘a woman …sheathed in leather from the neck to ground, cut to fit like a glove. Blood-red leather’ (594). A sound does not make a word, but rather it must work in conjunction with both a signified object, and the context in which it is presented. A signifier cannot become a sign, then, unless there exists something for it to signify. Signified and signifier are inseparable; ‘one can neither divide sound from thought nor thought from sound’ (Saussure 35). The phoneme ‘cat’ means nothing if it is not first known that it represents a four-legged feline creature. This can only be known, however, on the provisional basis that ‘cat’ does not signify a four-legged canine creature: ‘dog.’ Meaning, therefore, is affirmed only by what a word does not represent, and this difference can only be determined within the system of language as a whole. Yet the
It is only when placed within a wider context that words begin to present any sort of meaning at all. ‘There is no outside-context’ (Stephens) because without context there is no meaning, whether that context be within a literary text, a sentence, or simply a system of language. Words, then, do not have anything resembling fixed meaning, because meaning is utterly dependent upon the context in which a word is found: ‘the value of a term may be modified without either it’s meaning or its sound affected, solely because a neighboring term has been modified’ (Saussure 40).
If a word or phrase is found within the context of a literary text, then the system created within a text itself has the power to ascribe additional meaning to what, in everyday usage, would not normally apply. As Saussure writes: the value of a coin is denoted solely ‘according to the amount stamped upon it’ (Saussure 39) regardless of what it is materially worth. This additional value, however, does not simply disappear when the text is set aside. It now becomes impossible for the reader to dissociate this secondary significance. Deriving meaning from surroundings can in some cases, within the larger dominant discourse of a literary text, create myth that leaves them inseparable: ‘only a great poet knows that the word “incarnadine” belongs to “multitudinous seas.”’ (Atthis38) Shakespeare has, in essence, created his own mythology in which words and phrases are seen ‘much more than by
[their] literal sense’ (Barthes 1129) but by what they represent. By ‘weighing down’ the word ‘with a definite signified it [has become] a sign’ (1122) in its own right: part of its own mythology.
after: ‘palm tree’, for example. The addition of the word ‘palm’ to that of ‘tree’ immediately changes what it is the word ‘tree’ signifies, and vice versa. There is a deferral of meaning from one word to the next, and this deferral is endless. There are any number of possible adjectives, adverbs, and nouns that would drastically change what is signified by the single word ‘tree’ and thus, there is never an entirely complete meaning assigned to any word. If this is the case, the relationship between signified and signifier is not only arbitrary but also largely ineffective, as language will consistently fail to articulate in exact terms precisely what it has been commission to signify.
Yet for a reader who has never encountered Shakespeare, the words simply denote one of several meanings prescribed to it in everyday speech. Meaning derived from language is therefore entirely subjective, varying from person to person and the context in which they find the word. Certainty in meaning is therefore impossible, not only because ‘there is no outside-context’, but also because it is the individual reader who determines the significance of each word: there exists ‘a limitless number of perspectives. There is no one true answer’ (Stephens).
The realization that ‘there is no real communication with other human beings’ (Wilson 57) - certainly via the use of language - does not, however, render linguistics useless. The system of signified and signifier, so long as there exists a general and universal system of interpretation, will always be understood at least at a basic level. Instances of phrases becoming lost in translation- there is, for example, no way to distinguish between the French formal vous and informal tu when translated into Englishshow that while a word may not be understood in its ‘total’ sense, there exists at least some level of understanding: it can still be derived that both tu and vous are referring to ‘you.’ Language will forever be imperfect because it will never be able to articulate what it is attempting to present the image it is trying
Derrida, however, argues further as he develops the notion of ‘Différance,’ contending that in deriving understanding from surrounding context, words will never achieve their full and total meaning. A word that is defined by those that come before, and after, it ‘retains the mark of a past element and already lets itself be hollowed out by the mark of its relation to a future element’ (Derrida 288). If this is the case, then the word will never truly be defined and thus exact meaning never extracted. ‘Tree’ by itself may be tied to what is culturally seen, at that particular moment in history, as the traditional image of a tree, but further definition is deferred to words before or
to portray, but meaning can still be derived from its use.
has been said, has been said, and determine it’s truth based not on logically ‘pure’ fact, but on what it is you perceive to be fact.
If language fails to form this singular relationship between meaning and image, then it can be inferred that language will never express anything that can be considered truthful. A fact, taken as ‘what make[s] propositions true, or false’ (Russell 11), will never appear fully articulated through language if language cannot illustrate ‘what is common between a fact and its logical picture’ (11). If the ‘atomic fact’ (a statement that comprises itself of no facts, and therefore may be regarded as an expression of truth (12)) cannot be determined - at least in practice – then neither can any truthful statement: ‘nothing correct can be said’ (11) if what determines ‘correctness’ can never be deemed as certain, or correct itself.
Works Cited: Atthis38. “The Recorded Voice of Virginia Woolf.” Youtube. Youtube, 2 Dec 2007. Web. 6 Dec 2015. Barthes, Roland. Myth Today. 1957. pp 1119-1133. Print. Derrida, Jacques. Differance. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2008. pp 278-302. PDF. Goodkind, Terry. Wizard’s First Rule. London: Gollancz, 2008. Print.
What is deemed as a fact, then, becomes strictly defined by what can be articulated. For example: it could not be declared ‘the tree is a palm tree’ without first having knowledge of the necessary components that make up this statement, regardless of whether or not it is correct. It must be known what constitutes a tree, how to express that what has been seen is named a ‘palm tree’, and – in line with Saussure – it must be known that it is not an oak tree. If even one of these things is not known, the statement could not be constructed as a fact. As Wittgenstein neatly puts it: ‘whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent’ (Wittgenstein 7). It follows, then, that even the ‘atomic fact’ cannot, in reality, ever be considered an expression of truth, if language consists simply of the arbitrary relationship between signified and signifier: as discussed earlier, what has been expressed as a ‘palm tree’ has no complete meaning, notwithstanding that it can never be assured what has been seen is indeed a ‘palm tree’.
Saussure, Ferdinand. Course in General Linguistics. 1915. pp 34-40. Print. Stephens, Mitchell. “Deconstructing Jacques Derrida; The Most Reviled Professor In The World Defends His Diabolically Difficuly Theory.” Los Angeles Times Magazine, 21 July 1991. Web. 6 Dec 2015. https://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Jacques%20 Derrida%20-%20LAT%20page.htm Wilson, Colin. The Outsider. London: Gollancz, 1956. Print. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Introduction. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. By Buertrand Russell F.R.S. 1922. 1st ed. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, 1947. 7-23. Print. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus. 3rd ed. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, 1947. Print.
Language, then, neither fulfills what we demand of it nor enables us to decipher it, precisely because of its very limitations. Rather, we must settle ourselves simply by appearing content in the knowledge that something is being expressed within the limits of what we can determine as true or false, and within our understanding of meaning. ‘All propositions are of equal value’ (Wittgenstein 6.4) if notions of what is true and false cannot be logically proved through language. So it follows that it may be easier to discard these notions entirely in favour of acting within what can be articulated. ‘I am not a hamster’ can, linguistically, be proved neither true, or false. If this is the case, then you must accept that what 51
THEOLOGY AND RELIGION Subject Editor: Bea Fones
Who was Jesus Christ? Method, Approaches and Interpretation regarding Jesus of Nazareth written by ALEX RUSSELL 21st century dialogue concerning the Historical Jesus maintains a confused rhetoric. It is, as Keck states, ‘a theological Vietnam in which one is not sure from what direction the next salvo may come…’ This scholarly uncertainty exists arguably due to a collection of reasons, which, when clarified, can aid the scholar in approaching the Historical Jesus dialogue in a manner which is less fraught with subtle ambiguity, and more focused on creating a universal understanding of who the Historical Jesus was, and what he represented. The opening third of this essay shall therefore establish a sound methodology in order to search for the Historical Jesus, as without one, any search for a Historical Jesus could be considered erroneous. It is via this approach that it is understood that the Historical Jesus was, first and foremost, a Jew. This conclusion does not constitute the end of Historical Jesus dialogue, but rather the most coherent platform from which to begin. The foremost problem that the theologian encounters in his search for the Historical Jesus is the stark discrepancy between the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith. A. N. Wilson goes as far as stating that the task of reconstructing the first is likely to do ‘irreparable harm’ to the second. This realisation is likely to be the root of all the confusion surrounding Historical Jesus discourse, due to three main reasons. Firstly, scholars are forced into defining the ‘Historical Jesus’ before their search for this figure even begins. L. Keck is seen to offer five separate definitions of the Historical Jesus, which include (a) ‘Jesus as he actually was’, (b) the Jesus who is to be viewed as ‘incompatible with true religion’, (c) Jesus as the ‘Bulwark of true religion’ (d) the Jesus who can be witnessed as bringing to expression ‘an understanding of man’s existence’, and finally (e) the Jesus as the ‘historian is able to recover.’ Each of these approaches have both merits and defects, but it is the presence and range of definitions that demonstrates 52
the existence of an endemic complexity in the quest for the Historical Jesus, before that quest has even begun. Scholars, when faced with this difficulty, are often guilty of Harnack’s fallacy of projecting themselves, and their own suppositions, onto their own Historical Jesus. This approach is unhelpful as leads to constructions of Jesus that cannot be considered as Historical, as they stem from preconceived notions of who Jesus was, and what he represented. As Michael Green states, writings surrounding the Historical Jesus tend to be ‘reductionist works, highly flavoured by what the individual reader (believes) to be important;’ which ‘tell us more about the author than about Jesus.’ It is argued, therefore, that painting a coherent picture of the Historical Jesus requires a ‘blank slate’ from which to build. This Jesus of History must influence the Christ of Faith, not the other way around. One could point out, however, that a blank slate is
impossible to create, due to the fact that the primary source material in the quest for the Historical Jesus comes from the gospels, which themselves cannot be considered to be unbiased documents purporting to show the mere historical fact of Jesus. This problem is encountered by Keck, who appreciates the difficulty in using the gospels as a source for the Historical Jesus, but argues that the nurturing of a sceptical mind can aid the historian in his quest, as the gospels ‘were not written as source-material for modern biographers.’ The Synoptic Gospels must be viewed as predominantly religious texts, with occasional historical insight. With this blank slate, and a sceptical approach to the gospels, one can almost begin the search for the Historical Jesus. However, one should never expect to build a Historical construction that is ‘complete’. A ‘complete’ construction, for many, would entail discussion concerning the virgin conception, the resurrection and miracles, which, it can be argued, are topics that have no place in a historical investigation, as they are unquantifiable matters of faith, and cannot be considered as verifiable. The Historical Jesus is a figure whose importance precedes faith. He is a preliminary construction from which Christianity can build, and therefore the construction must remain uncorrupted by ecclesiastical preconceptions.
eschatological Jewish movement (early Christianity, especially as seen in Paul’s letters).” - E. P. Sanders E. P. Sanders’ approach to the Historical Jesus dilemma is herein regarded as a profound one. His methodology is very similar to the approach advocated above, with only a selection of minor discrepancies. His interest lay predominantly in the Jewish foundation of Jesus, with Jesus placed firmly within Israel. His authenticity test for historical data demonstrates the necessary scepticism required for successful extrapolation from the gospels, combined with the fact that Sanders focused mostly on the acts of Jesus rather than the professed words. Via this approach Sanders created a list of Historical assumptions about Jesus, which he claimed were true beyond ‘reasonable doubt’. It is via close consideration of Sanders, and an approach similar to his, that a Jewish Historical Jesus will be constructed. Sanders’ statement that Jesus’ ‘activity’ in the temple (Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17) is the ‘surest starting point for our investigation’ into the Historical Jesus is one which is supported herein. Although there can be no certainty as to the exact events that occurred in the temple, it is ‘overwhelmingly probable’ that some kind of event happened inside the temple, highlighting the sacrilegious nature of its occupants. This ‘overwhelming probability,’ Sanders states, is due to the fact that the altercation in the temple is cited in three other passage: namely the crucifixion scene (Mark 15:29) Stephen’s speech (Acts 6:13) and
“Jesus was a prophet of the restoration of Israel who began as a follower of an eschatological prophet (John the Baptist) and whose ministry resulted in an
in John 2:18-22 . The verifiable nature of this act only becomes significant when one considers a possible reason for the cleansing of the temple.
indicates this characteristic, which is then backed up by the symbolic calling of the twelve disciples, to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, the aforementioned expectation of a new temple and the eschatological setting of the work of the apostles, which can be witnessed in Romans 11:11-13. All four of these acts come under the Sanders’ sub-heading of true ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’, most likely due to their multiple, and consistent, attestations throughout the synoptic gospels. Jesus’ rejection Pharisaical Law did not extend to rejection of the Sabbath, and he can be seen to accept ‘people’s status, that is election and the covenant’, which should indicate to the scholar that being averse to the Pharisees, and being averse to Judaism are not synonymous states of being.
Jesus would have been well aware of the combined teachings in Isiah (56:7) for ‘my house of prayer shall be called my house of prayer’ and Jeremiah (7:11) ‘Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?’ which, when considered alongside his cleansing of the temple, make the act appear to be a counteroffensive to ‘the abuse of Jewish institutions.’ One can, therefore, consider the altercation in the temple as a prophetic act by Jesus, ‘which represents the divine judgement on a particular use which was being made of the temple.’ Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is not to be considered an attack on the temple, but an attack on the activities that were taking place inside, and thus a defence of the temple, and therefor Judaism. This is not a viewpoint necessarily agreed with by Sanders, who proposes a more outlandish, but nonetheless interesting, hypothesis that Jesus’ threat, regarding the destruction of the temple, was in fact the Jewish Eschatological prediction of the ‘immanent appearance of the judgement and the new age’ . Either way, Jesus’ cleansing of the temple can be considered an act concerning the protection of the sanctity of Judaism.
It is not just through actions, but through words, that the Historical Jesus can be seen to be profoundly Jewish. Attention to A. N. Wilson’s consideration of the context of Judaism at the start of the 1st Century can be helpful in understanding how this can be made clear. Wilson argues that it is necessary for us to remind ourselves how ‘extremely distinctive’ Jesus’ belief in Judaism was, and how central this was to his teaching. It is a common misconception that Jesus’ teachings which concentrate on loving thy neighbour, forgiveness, compassion and generosity, which are present through the entirety of the synoptic gospels, all originated from Christ. This could not be further from the truth.
It is not just in the temple that the Historical Jesus can be seen to perform acts that can be deemed as idiosyncratically Jewish. It is important that the Scholar doesn’t neglect the fact that Jesus’ birth, most likely during the final years of the reign of King Herod, and birthplace, either Nazareth or Bethlehem, placed Jesus within a completely Jewish demographic. He would have undergone the same piecemeal education concerning Jewish history as all other Jewish boys, and was circumcised eight days after birth (Luke 2:21), he even learnt the same trade as his father (Mark 6:3), as was custom for a Jewish boy before the age of fourteen, and would have been surrounded at all time by other Jewish individuals and influence, although he most likely did not have a Bar Mitzvah ceremony because there was no such ceremonial appreciation of this event at this time. It is highly probable that Jesus would have been hugely influenced by this environment.
Wilson draws reference to the purity of Judaism, against the backdrop of Hellenistic and pagan spirituality that had to look to abstract transcendental forms to understand concepts such as goodness, grace and justice. From 400 B.C.E. Judaism, and its monotheistic God, had the monopoly on Religious virtue, with Prophets calling for people to recognise ‘that the will of God could only be fulfilled by a virtuous neighbourly life.’ When contrasted with the ‘bloodthirsty…incalculable and opaque’ Homeric Religions, Judaism can be seen to represent a universal, and righteous faith, which is epitomized by Jeremiah 31:33-34 ‘I will be their God, and they shall be my people: and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: For they shall know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them.’ It is thanks entirely to Jesus’ distinctive Jewish belief, and the interpenetration of John and Paul, that this virtuous rhetoric is present in Christianity today. The Christian message, therefore, is not so much a Christian message as a Jewish one.
There are a selection of acts, performed by Jesus, that demonstrate not only his Jewish nature, but his eschatological one. His baptism under John the Baptist, the eschatological preacher, immediately 54
and Christian Identities: Essays in Honor of Ed Parish Sanders. Edited by Fabian E Udoh with Susannah Heschel, Mark Chancey and Gregory Tatum. The Heythrop Journal, 50(6), pp.1042-1043.
To conclude, in agreement with Christoph Burchard, â€˜whatever else Jesus was, he was a Jew from Galilee, and the Jesus movement was, at least in its beginnings, Galilean Jewish.â€™ This conclusion has been reached via a comprehensive discussion regarding correct methodology necessitated by this field of inquiry. This prologue may appear bloated and unnecessary upon first glance, but it can be argued that it is the duty of the Historian, in this particular discussion, to outline his approach the question as has been done here. It has been argued that it is flawed methodology which has been responsible in hindering the Historical Jesus dialogue thus far. By regarding theologians such as Wilson, Theissen, Merz, and most critically Sanders, it has become clear that the Historical Jesus is Jewish in the most literal, and symbolic sense, and it is from this base that the Historical Jesus dialogue should continue.
Wilson, A. (1992). Jesus. London: Sinclair-Stevenson Limited
Works Cited: Becker, J. (1993). Christian beginnings. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox Press. Fitzmyer, J. (1981). The Gospel according to Luke. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. Ford, D. (1997). The modern theologians. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers. Harvey, A. (1982). Jesus and the constraints of history. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Keck, L. (1971). A future for the historical Jesus. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Keck, L. (2000). Who is Jesus?. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. Marshall, I. (1977). I believe in the historical Jesus. London: Hodder & Stoughton. Sanders, E. (1985). Jesus and Judaism. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. The Holy Bible - Revised Standard Version. (1952). New York, Glasgow and Toronto: Collins. Theissen, G. and Merz, A. (1998). The historical Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Turner, G. (2009). Redefining First-Century Jewish 55
How does music influence culture?
Managing Editor: Akash Beri 56
SOCIAL SCIENCES The World Without David Bowie culture would look (and sound) entirely One criterion which is almost always consid- British different? ered when judging the quality of music is how well the piece reflects, interprets or gives insight into something in the real world: early punk bands like the Sex Pistols articulated the rebellion of outcasts against the establishment. Their loud, simple, and angry music was a statement, designed to be offensive to the mainstream, which effectively said, “Fuck you. We don’t like how things are. We won’t conform to your standards. We do what we want.” On the other end of the spectrum, even lyrics to basic, cheesy, loved-up pop songs like Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe are so ‘one-size-fits-all’ that, like it or not, you can’t listen to it and not relate it to it on some level. In both cases they take something infinitely complex and essentially incomprehensible, like ‘love’ or ‘the world is so messed up’, and render it in a contained form of expression.
But what is too often overlooked when judging a piece of music, or art in general, is how it changes reality. T.S. Eliot had this insight when he wrote in his essay “Ulysses, Order, and Myth” of James Joyce’s Ulysses that “it has the importance of a scientific discovery.” On first reading, this declaration might seem ludicrous. What’s the writing of an avant-garde novel about Irish life, unread by the vast majority of the public, to the development of a new vaccine, or to the discovery of a new subatomic particle, or species of animal? But what Eliot aimed to show was that, by framing something in reality in a radically new way, or articulating an otherwise unarticulated latent feeling, art necessarily changes how we view reality, and consequently, how we act and interact within it. It opens up the space for new possibilities for how we live our lives. Perhaps Eliot overestimated Ulysses’ influence. I’m not sure how different our day to day living would be without it. But this got me thinking: Unlike literary high-modernism, practically everyone listens to music. Is there a musical artist, album, or song that, if without,
It didn’t take me long to think of David Bowie, whose recent death has immortalised him as an indispensable part of British music and society, both as an establishment figure, and the King (or Queen) of counterculture. Musically speaking, without Bowie, the world would be a different place. We just can’t imagine what genres as varied as pop, rock, metal, punk, or industrial would be like. Can we really imagine Lady Gaga or Marilyn Manson without the glam rock ofThe Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust? Alice Cooper without the theatrical hard-rock on The Man Who Sold the World? Nine Inch Nails, Arcade Fire, or The Horrors without The Berlin Trilogy? Low essentially invented post-rock, and is one of the first successful syntheses of rock with electronic music. To appropriate the words of Eliot, David Bowie, without a doubt, had “the importance of a scientific discovery,” to which all musicians are “indebted, and from which none of them can escape.” Just as scientists use past discoveries to help them in their investigation, musicians inevitably use the developments made by musicians that preceded them. Bowie’s musical influence is so pervasive, and spans so many genres, that it is virtually impossible to create pop, rock, or metal music which is not influenced however indirectly by him.
Regarding British society at large, one might be tempted to say that Bowie’s influence was less pervasive. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he had little to contribute to political debate, save for an embarrassing, momentary, coke-addled endorsement of fascism. But what of Bowie’s intervention in our understanding of identity politics? The dawn of postmodernity and late capitalism were and are confusing times for ‘the individual’, with technology and science developing at such a rate that we feel alienated in our own world,
unsure more than ever ‘who we are’, notions and categories of identity once perceived as stable are thrown into question. Through his self-presentation, David Bowie’s radical response was that this is good. He approached the instability of the self and identity not, like the rest of society, with trepidation and horror and a yearning for simpler times, but with empowering, unapologetic enthusiasm. With David Bowie, the concept of individual identity dissolved, not into thin air, or insignificance, but into an ocean of creative possibilities. He was an alchemist of identity, mixing traits from the male and female genders (and those alien to both), high and low culture, the past and the future, the mainstream and the avant-garde, into one ever-changing art piece
which was (and is): himself. More than anyone else, Bowie showed people that they could be who they wanted to be, despite society’s standards and expectations; even those expectations once deemed as infallible as gender. This, as much as his music — (although, of course, the two cannot be separated) — has “the importance of a scientific discovery”, of unprecedented significance. Perhaps, more than ever, this is what we need in music: music which not only reflects reality, but also creates the space for new realities and new unheard of possibilities. wrtten by Robert Scott, President of
ARTS ‘The top ten always sounds the same’ -
An investigation into our notoriously unchanging charts
Every month there seems to be a new song that
the hopeful routine of sending tracks to record labels and agents to be rejected is a much closer reality. Recently, 32-year-old Kyla, the mother and ELS teacher whose vocals were once remixed by UK Funky duo The Crazy Cousinz, suddenly found international fame when rapper Drake sampled their track ‘Do You Mind’ in his new single ‘Once Dance’ which can now be heard everywhere. Similarly, Justin Bieber managed to charm our airwaves once being discovered on YouTube, but although this has inspired thousands of musicians to persist in posting their covers of ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Fast Car’ each week, very few have the same luck. Without luck, there must be a way to determine access to the charts because if Silentó’s ‘Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)’ can make it, then surely you can too.
we all hate until we do not. An ear worm, which at first might make us squirm, often eventually finds itself hidden in our sacred playlists because “at the end of the day, it’s still a banger though.” Most musicians seek to share their creations with as many people as possible, but how does music become popular in such a seemingly saturated market? When we open Pandora’s record box, how is hope found amongst all the jammed cassettes and failed demos? Most importantly however, why is it that whilst names and haircuts may change, the sounds of the charts and mainstream music can appear stagnant and as if we’ve heard it all before? Perhaps the music industry feeds itself by conditioning listeners’ musical preferences, maybe even before we’ve heard the songs themselves.
Critically, the aforementioned song met success by imitating dance moves from other one-hitwonders ‘Crank That (Soulja Boy)’ and ‘Stanky
An artist or song can break into the mainstream literally overnight, but for most aspiring artists 58
Legg’, suggesting that repetition (which aids recognition) plays an important role in songs reaching the mainstream. Additionally, fitting the ‘boy band’ formula is a mechanism for (brief) success since the template is replicable and with enough radio airtime and posters in children’s magazines, a new boy band could top the charts every Friday. Given that aesthetics and appearances are so vital to popularity in music, (especially as it seems more time is now spent scrolling through artists’ Instagram accounts rather than listening to their actual tracks), you probably won’t find fame without surgery/Photoshop sculpting you into the worn out moulds of popstars.
better fit the participants’ music taste. The more times a song is heard, the more positive associations a listener can make with the track. This suggests that repeated exposure can cause listeners to like a song even if it is lower quality and not of their usual preference. This musical ‘Stockholm syndrome’ is key for record companies to ensure that their invested tracks dominate charts despite listeners rejecting them at first. It is unfair to say that all mainstream music is ‘bad’ just because it’s in popular charts, but through an analysis of the complexity of the instrumentation and musical components of many genres, the same study found that popular music has become simplified and more generic over time. Perhaps this simplicity renders songs more accessible to listeners, which thus creates more sales so tracks reach the charts. But by consistently producing music that is so formulaically simple, the standard of music most generally available diminishes which in turn results in listeners purchasing songs similar to their previous artless favourites to form persistently low quality mainstream charts. There seems to be a cyclical relationship between mainstream music’s impact on listeners and how music becomes mainstream. Lyrical subject matter has hardly changed since the genesis of popular music and as new songs appear to be replicas of previous tracks, maybe there is a case to be made that we have always liked the same things and that’s why the sound of the charts seems unchanging. However, more convincing is the argument that those monopolising the music industry have conditioned listeners into believing that their music is superior through the repetition of songs, instrumentation and lyrical subject matter. Nevertheless, if you play a terrible song over and over again, people will work it out for themselves. Perhaps that’s why many chart tracks fail to stand the test of time.
Social influence has one of the highest impacts on generating popularity in music. The Columbia University Music Lab found that if unknown songs were considered lower quality but were attached to high download rates, they would receive more downloads than higher quality songs with lower download rates1. The download rates in this experiment were false, but it clearly indicates that popularity (albeit invented) is a greater determining factor for chart success than how good the song is. It’s logical, since with such a vast volume of music available, it is easier to go with what others are downloading. But shouldn’t the charts reflect the best music rather than the most played? People tend to pick songs that are popular because listening to music is often a social experience. For example, hearing songs in clubs, shops, on the radio and discussing with friends all provide a shared involvement in music. Research suggests that repeated exposure is one of the most effective ways of getting the general public to like a song rather than writing one to suit their taste2. A study into the instrumentational complexity of music genres and why simplicity sells found through fMRI scans that emotional centres of the brain (including reward centres) were more active when participants heard songs they had heard before. Those areas were even moreactive than when hearing unfamiliar songs that 1 https://www.princeton.edu/~mjs3/salganik_
dodds_watts06_full.pdf 2 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0115255
written by James Wijesinghe 59
THEOLOGY Music in Catholic Culture
M usic is an important part in all religions, whether it is as simple as rhythmic chanting or the intri-
cacies of 16th Century requiems such as Verdi’s Dies Irae (possibly the most powerful piece of music ever). My personal experience with religious music largely lies within the Catholic Church, a denomination often viewed in modern times with uncertainty and scepticism and a sense that it’s an outdated Church. This view isn’t entirely misguided; the tendency to use Psalms as hymns and 18th and 19th Century hymns does lead to a sense of drudgery on a Sunday morning – All Things Bright and Beautiful anyone? However, a remarkable trend in the 21st Century has changed Christian culture and most surprisingly Catholic culture, by reviving the youth population and attendance. The trend that has emerged is young bands using indie and pop-rock to express Christian ideals and messages. This has created a culture of young people engaging with religion again, and not in an oppressive way that creates dissatisfaction, but in a way that allows young people to engage with faith in the way that they choose to, which is the most important thing about belief. And from this, the culture of
the Church changes. With the adaptation of religious music to encompass young people, a lifeblood gets injected into Catholicism, and bands such as Lifehouse, Flyleaf and Hillsong are to thank. So while Songs of Praise might still be on BBC1, music is changing the face of the Church and with this step other things begin to change. There is more open debate and opportunities to learn and engage and as such, the culture of Catholicism has changed.
written by Rosemary Lennie
ENGLISH & FILM W hen considering the relationship between music and literature in popular culture, obvious connec-
tions can be made through influence and inspiration, particularly when the former discipline interacts with the latter. Countless artists have drawn from literature for their best-known numbers. Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is an unabashed example; the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ subtly alludes Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita; and Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic classic ‘White Rabbit’ re-tells Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
for an entire movement, and his impassioned love of jazz was an integral part of the conception of his magnum opus, On the Road. As Swenson says, “his own method of spontaneous composition was meant to do the same thing with words that he heard bop musicians doing with their instruments” (29).
For other writers, however, the imitation of music has a greater purpose than literary advancement. To Langston Hughes, the adoption of the blues into his poetry was a way of strengthening and exploring his sense of black identity. As Steven C. Tracy has comYet, the more important, and, I argue, the more so- mented, “the blues in fact helped free him from more cially significant cross-overs are when the opposite consciously “literary” verse and move him toward occurs, when literature is not only influenced by its vernacular expression” (105). The fusion of music and aural neighbours, but then attempts to imitate them. literature in this instance, then, is operating on a level Jack Kerouac’s embracing “of bop as the soundtrack beyond the confines of art. At a time when to be black to [the Beat] revolution” (Swenson 27) was a catalyst in America was to be a second-class citizen, the mix of 60
blues music and Hughes’s poetry made a strong political point by displaying pride in ‘Negro’ culture. And the impact of combining literature and music is continuing today, where race relations in America are again dangerously tense. Kendrick Lamar draws from
literature on his track ‘The Blacker the Berry’, a title taken from Wallace Thurman’s novel. Dubbed ‘the Langston Hughes of our generation’, Lamar mirrors the pride of his artistic forefather, declaring “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice”. Works Cited: Swenson, John. ‘Beat Jazz: The Real Thing’. The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats: The Beat Generation and American Culture. Ed. Holly George-Warren. New York: Rolling Stone Press, 1999. 27-32. Print. Tracy, Steven C. Langston Hughes and the Blues. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988. Print.
written by Matt Newman
POLITICS T he use of music as a vessel of political discourse is a recurring phenomenon in the modern world,
perhaps reaching a zenith of influence during America’s involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-75). Not only was this war a military disaster, it was a political one, drawing massive criticism from young musicians across a variety of genres in the United States. As support dwindled for the war in the late 1960s, Bob Dylan released the song ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964); this encapsulated the spark of dissent within the American populace, broadcast across the nation. Here, the power of music as a political weapon can be appreciated, disseminated amongst ordinary citizens and spreading the message of the musician under the cover of a beat. John Lennon’s song ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in 1969 further exemplifies critical attitudes towards the war, with the background chants and claps of an audience creating an atmosphere of unity. Such unity became realised at the August 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, the most influential music event in recent memory; during those three days, thousands came together and protested the war through song which shook the country, evidence of the power of music. Yet, pro-war perspectives were informed through the music of those like Merle Haggard’s ‘The Fightin’ Side of Me’ (1970) and ‘Okie from Muscogee’ (1969), offering emotionally charged criticisms on why people keep ‘harpin’ on the wars we fight’. James E. Atken 61
son claims such musicians represented an important ‘counter-culture’ against anti-war protesters, an aspect of political history that has a tendency to be lost. Thus, the importance of music (particularly popular music) cannot be understated, a symbol of popular culture and different opinions at that time. However, a key question must be asked – did people listen to music for the message, and can the lyrics really embody the political views of the entire audience? The answer is complicated, but they exist nonetheless as a useful snapshot of the zeitgeist. written by Akash
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Published on Oct 30, 2016
The sixth issue of the University of Exeter's leading independent, interdisciplinary academic journal. Featuring essays written by students...