Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Paper Proposal

I talked in class about doing something with symbols in the final paper. After some thought I want to elaborate on how symbols on a greater scale affect movements in society and how removing these symbols removes the effect from society, at least at some level, also I want to go into how many different symbols have many different meanings that we don't necessarily associate with them. The biggest example i can think of off the top of my head is that of the swastika during world war II and how we now perceive it as a huge negative symbol even though initially it was just a symbol of good fortune. Also I would like to touch on modern use of symbols such as fast-food markets (Golden Arches) and if I can figure out a way to twist it to my main topic maybe talk about symbols within the fashion industry promote thing such as eating disorders (I realize this area is overdone). Overall I want to make the arguement that symbols through people or images give society a common place to ground their ideas and that without a central symbol some of these movements would loose their speed or impact on society.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

I misunderstood you in class - I thought you were talking about symbols in HOL, which would have been fine.

This is fine, too, or some variation of it will be. The project as you've described it is almost undoubtedly too big even for a book of ordinary size.

However, you could certainly generate an argument about a particular symbol and its centrality to a particular culture. (Remember my description of a project proposal, which called for a counterargument which could be included - if it's not specific enough to have a counterargument, it's not specific enough).

Example (maybe a silly one): you could argue that the U.S. gained a degree of cohesion around the symbol of the golden arches. Have we lost it over the last few years of vocal attacks on McDonalds? (_Supersize Me_ is the relevant film). The image of the Golden Arches in _Jimmy Corrigan_ could actually become central.

In other words, you need a _much_ narrower focus, but this is a starting point.