My advice is to read Hawkes’s Ideology in its entirety over the next few weeks. This interview with our author will prove immensely helpful:
Not Us, Me
Identity politics weaponizes the feeling that one has to hold on to what is in them more than themselves. It highlights one specific feature out of a given set of demographic features, turning this feature from a base to be defended into a launcher for new attacks. Weaponized identity politics lets me insist that this time I will not be sacrificed, I will survive. Even more, it helps assuage some of the guilt of the privileged — they are on the correct side of history, for once. The added bonus of weaponized identity politics is how the privileged can use it against each other even as they leave communicative capitalism’s basic structure intact. We see this when we look at the arsenal of identities — sex, race, gender, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, religion, citizenship — and recognize what is missing: class.
The identities from which one can speak rely on the exclusion of class. On the one hand, the assumption is that class means white. Yet prevalent within the discourse of identity politics are accounts of the racialization of poverty, the feminization of work, important accounts that recognize and analyze the fact that class in the contemporary United States does not mean or signify white at all. What, then, is behind the attachment to identity that not only refuses to consider the impact of economic inequality on the election but that responds to any discussion of economics as if it were premised on an underlying racism?
pp. 5-7: Shell and Goux on money. Its immateriality, its connection to a more general phenomenon of “the progressive detachment of signs from referents and a growing autonomy and determining power of signification” (6).
[What is a sign? Long answer: http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem02.html ]
“[I]deology as undialectical thought: that is to say, thought that seeks to reduce a mutually definitive binary opposition to one of its poles” (7).
By the end of this book I want you to have a firm grasp of dialectics. Whenever you see some variation of that term in your reading, pay attention.
p.10: “My main argument in this book…”
If you like Left you might like this.
I’m trying to formulate a list of critical methods Hawkes employs in Ideology. If you have any suggestions I’d welcome them.
1. “X has become so pervasive it has effectively ceased to exist.”
This formulation ought to evoke paradox, the interpenetration of opposites, the dialectic.