Baudrillard's Challenge: A Feminist Reading by Victoria Grace

By Victoria Grace

This booklet not just provides a entire realizing of Baudrillard's thoughts of reversion and simulation, yet bargains with essentially each feedback of Baudrillard systematically and concretely. the reason of the results for feminism are transparent and weaved skillfully in the course of the booklet, even though someone drawn to Baudrillard for non-feminist purposes may still do this e-book.

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It is crucial to point out here that these ‘differences’, which, in Saussurian terms, create the possibility of ‘identity’, are conceptualised by Baudrillard as parallel positivities (my term); they are not differences that have a negative valence relative to a positive, but rather they represent an infinity of positive values that never converge, never engage, that can never transform an‘other’ or be transformed, but rather jostle around in an endless, shifting, arbitrary hierarchy. Baudrillard calls this a logic of difference, as did Saussure in his theory of signification, but this is a difference that separates and distinguishes positive identities and not a difference that constitutes otherness.

The play of signifiers, the play of sign values (signs that function as exchange values, and commodities that function as signs), is the location of the floating models that precede the real, so in a dramatic reversal, reality simulates its models. The (simulated) real is more real than (the old, natural, material) real. An example that provides a clear illustration is the synthesised emerald, which simulates a model of the perfect emerald; the structural perfection of the emerald does not precede its representation but rather the most real emerald is preceded by its own model.

For example, a statement that ‘language is not a means of communication’ has to be read through layers of meanings. It is not an assertion that can be proved wrong by an empirical instance to the contrary. Neither does it assume that language is never a means of communication; indeed, Baudrillard argues that in the hyperreal construction of signification, language is precisely that. This statement activates a challenge to the notion that language is a means of communication, but it is not only a political challenge, which would reduce theory to rhetorics.

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