interpellation

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interpellation

the process by which individuals become social subjects. According to ALTHUSSER (1971), people are actually the ‘bearers of structures’ rather than ‘autonomous subjects’. Yet, if capitalist relations of production are to be reproduced, each person must be constituted as an independent individual. This is the function of IDEOLOGY. Individuals are constituted or interpellated as subjects by ‘hailing’ or addressing them as, for example, ‘the people’.

In this way, the capitalist state is able to address individuals in terms of a democratic discourse as autonomous subjects, while recruiting them into a political process whose real function is the preservation, co-ordination and reproduction of the conditions for successful capital accumulation.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
In a given time many ideologies subtly interpellate an individual; it is a contestation of sorts.
Likewise, the presence of agents provocateurs within the protest (another long-standing tactic used against movements of civil disobedience) was undermined by its reliance on an ineffective code: "It was obvious they were all wearing orange hats--every orange hat was able to cross back and forth across the police lines." (65) This tactic, borrowed from Genoa, had become a predictable part of events, its capacity to interpellate activists stymied by alternative knowledge disseminated through weblogs.
Thus Blake's work in Milton furthers the defamiliarizing objectives of Visions, Europe, and America by exposing the cultural and political assumptions behind the government's version of nationalism: "The nationalism that government propaganda, and the rehabilitation of Milton, circulated to interpellate the population into a sense of community that valorized a willingness to sacrifice for that community's defining political agenda is thus defamiliarized in the sense of being framed as a nonfamilial strain infecting the proper national familiar and family" (134).
By playing the 'present' of witnessing against the historicized narratives of the past, these films explode our structured, catalogued, inventoried understanding of past events to unleash new complexities and oppositions, and in so doing interpellate, include, and reshape the spectators' appreciation of these events.
This strategy follows from the fact that any argument about the ideological action of a text must invoke some kind of intention on the part of its producer(s) to interpellate a reading subject.
The question at hand is: how does the lyric interpellate subjects and enact their endlessly complex web without prioritizing one textual modality over another, without relinquishing formal inventiveness, without lapsing into a secure metaphysics of presence and authenticity?
Russell is the most theoretically sophisticated of the twelve authors in this book, as evidenced not just by the overlay of the theoretical lexicon ("negotiable," "speculary," "interpellate," "polysemy," "deconstruction," "abjection," "gaze," "inscribe," etc.) in her prose but also by the fact that her range of reference goes beyond the usual suspects--Friedrich Nietzsche, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva--to the notable feminist critic of Orwell, Daphne Patai, such German cultural icons as Georg Buchner and Bertolt Brecht, the fiction writer Christa Wolf, and German critic Joachim Walter.
After all, the imagined scenes of a Victorian novel, like the scenes of Scrooge's spiritual phantasmagoria, at once exclude and interpellate the viewer.
Functioning "massively and predominantly by ideology," the ISAs have traditionally retained power by legislating ideological beliefs in the attempt to interpellate (or hail) its members into recognizing themselves in cultural narratives presented for mass consumption (Althusser 1971, 146).
The most intimate war waged in Sappho is Burning is duBois's own struggle with the paradoxes of being a classical scholar in a postmodern "world without history," "a landscape flattened, filled with objects that interpellate us from within the codes of the present, objects without density or past," in which we ourselves are "simply processes, discontinuous assemblages of the various appellations of gender, class, race and ethnicity." As she confesses, "I both like and hate this story" of postmodernism.
As a means of counteracting this, I want to interpellate another figure of the desiring woman who refuses rejection, the narrator of Elizabeth Smart's novel, first published in 1945, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.
How does it select, recognize, attract, interpellate its proper participant-audience?