Check this out for info on how feeds work. This will help you better understand — if you don’t already — how Anderson is conceptualizing the “feed” in Feed. 😉
What values, what distinctions, what assumptions are at work in these truths? IOW, reflect on what constitutes (what beliefs, what “ideologies,” make up) the specific society that practices these meanings (of black and white) as if they are givens?
How can we read those ‘truths’ not simply as givens, as obvious and natural, but as meanings that are produced “in a specific society” and according to “the ways in which that society talks and thinks about itself and its experience”?
What are the “obvious” and “natural” beliefs or associations (i.e. so-called truths) at work in the definitions of “black” and “white” read by Malcolm X in the scene we watched?
Here’s a quote from Belsey: “[…I]t is argued that what seems obvious and natural is not necessarily so, but that on the contrary the ‘obvious’ and the ‘natural’ are not given but produced in a specific society by the ways in which that society talks and thinks about itself and its experience” (3).
To answer the next few questions, you should first consider the difference between “given” and “produced.” What do you think these mean — in relation to each other?
Trust me that this is the most accessible intro to structuralist and poststructuralist theory available. Saussure was a structuralist, and most of the big names in continental philosophy since him are poststructuralists (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, etc, etc). She’s basically introducing you to the lit theory and philosophy that has been championed for the last few decades (here in the US, anyway. Europe caught on much faster), and she’s showing you how that lit theory/philosophy is a fundamental critique of the transparent relationship between individuals, language, and meaning (i.e. “common sense realism”).
More specifically, in these theories, individuals don’t “create” meaning. Language designates meaning. Thus meaning exists through a complex of relations and exchanges. Individuals then participate in the use of language and, as such, participate in/perpetuate structures of meaning already at work (per structuralism). In other words, society tells you how to use language. You have to — even in the most subversive prose — adhere to certain rules of language (that exist before you did).
As for the poststructuralists, we could spend the next 6 years talking about that work and only scrape the surface. But generally, one of the major tenets of that line of philosophy is that we (individuals) are actually *constructed by* language. We are subjects because we are subjected by language (or discourse… thank you, Foucault).
Just do your best.