Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Theory vs. Practice

“Whatever its defects and problems, this positive conception of ideology [“the Imaginary representation of the subject’s relationship to his or her Real conditions of existence”] as a necessary function in any form of social life has the great merit of stressing the gap between the local positioning of the individual subject and the totality of class structures in which he or she is situated, a gap between the phenomenological perception and a reality that transcends all individual thinking or experience; but this ideology, as such, attempts to span or coordinate, to map, by meanings of conscious and unconscious representations” (353).

Jameson argues that individual experience is severed from structure and that private experience becomes further and further estranged from the reality of our situations. Is this the same as saying that theory and practice are distinct entities that, as time goes on, do not necessitate one another? Theory attempts to understand/predict the practice in its absence while, simultaneously, practice implements the theory in its absence as well? Yet, both are separate in that theory can never fully bear on actual experience and practice never really lives up to the theory. This is similar to how, when the Internet came out, theory predicted that it would be ungovernable and mind blowing but in practice the Internet became rather mundane and vulnerable to government forces and censorship. Is the internet an attempt to represent absence and the “real conditions of existence” or is it the space which we attempt to map? I guess what I am asking is whether the internet is the method by which we map meanings of conscious and unconscious representations or does it itself need to be mapped?

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