Making Meaning Through Discourse (Chapter 26, page 337)
Two quotes that really stood out to me in this section. They are about defining insanity, and having the power to make or break definitions or ideas of any kind. Griffin describes Foucault's idea about dramatic change in defining people as insane, saying, “People with power drew arbitrary lines between between the normal and the abnormal” (338). In the last line of the section, Griffin brings this idea full circle, “The right to make meaning, can literally be the power to make others crazy” (338). If you have “discursive power,” some public platform or soap box that reaches across many mass media lines, you then have the power to define, and label people. Once that power is abused, it oppresses people and media then perpetuates that oppression and those ideals used to hold them down. Being in the public eye was made possible by the media. Media, as a globally powered avenue and environment can be used by people in power, thus having drastically positive and negative affects on public perception all over the world. This blurred line is created between truth and fiction, or even truth and reality. Griffin states later in the chapter, “truth has prospered by investigating what is, separately from what we think it ought to be. Hall seems to blur that distinction” (343). The problem is, media and people that hold powerful positions in public discourse, start to deem what is as one in the same, as what they think ought to be. Since we are seeing and hearing them more so than someone of lesser power, we are more apt to believe in the “school of thought” that they are teaching.