The third module of Making Meanings 103 has focused on the limits and possibilities of critique
in context of postmodern thought and culture.
Choose an area of interest, e.g. the area of your major (film, advertising, journalism, fashion,
international relations, new media, art, design, anthropology, information studies, etc.), and
write a reflective commentary on possibilities of critique in that context. Think about the social or
cultural purpose(s) or role(s) of that area/profession/practice (or the academic study of that
area) as traditionally conceived, and reflect on the challenges that postmodern ideas, culture
and society present to achieving that purpose or fulfilling that role. You may choose to focus on
forms of critical practice in your chosen area (e.g. fashion as critique, journalism as critique,
etc.), or on the kinds of criticism that may be leveled at that field or practice (e.g. fashion or
journalism, etc., as object of critique).
Although you do not have to address them one by one, you might use the following questions to
get you thinking and to help guide your reflection:
What social ‘benefit’ or ‘mission’ has your chosen field or practice traditionally been said
to provide or fulfil?
What traditionally might have counted as ‘critique’ (eg. as subversion. as satire, as
political opposition, etc.) in your chosen field?
0 What role does such critique play in helping that field to fulfil its social mission or
0 To what extent has postmodernism changed (reduced or enhanced, limited or
diversified) the potential and the forms of critique in that field?
Having nearly completed Making Meanings 103, how do you now understand the
potential of critique in your chosen field?
0 To what extent do you feel that the critical concepts and practices we’ve explored in this
unit may be useful in future study or work in the area?
Alternatively, what kinds of criticisms has your chosen area been subject to?
0 What role has such criticism played in helping that field to fulfil its social mission or
0 To what extent have these forms of criticism themselves become ‘popular’ or even
What new ideas has Making Meanings 103 helped you to develop about your chosen
field and what new critical questions has the unit helped you to ask of that field?
Assessment Three Marking Criteria
Your assignment will be marked according to the extent to which you:
1. Address the task by reflecting on the role of critique in your chosen area and on the
potential of critique in the context of postmodern culture and postmodern thought
have you discussed the past and present uses or forms of critique in your area? Have
you reflected on how postmodern ideas, culture and society have influenced or
challenged those uses or forms of critique?
2. Demonstrate engagement with the ideas and issues explored in this unit – does your
discussion present ideas and observations about your chosen field that you could not
have presented before you started studying Making Meanings 103?
3. Inform your discussion of the key issues through engagement with academic sources
have you directly cited, spoken about and responded to the required minimum number
of academic readings?
4. Present your ideas in a clear and coherent fashion; edit and proof your writing to ensure
you have written clear, well-structured, grammatically correct and error-free sentences
and paragraphs; and format your work in conformity with the presentation standards
detailed under guidelines for assessment submission on p.15 of outline.
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