-- some notes
These notes offer an 'argument sketch'
for the lectures which follow (related to the course -- see file).
I also use them to cover some of the more 'theoretical' material as background.
1. Studies of popular culture offer
a classic clash between 'high theory' and 'low culture' (to quote a famous
book title). There are some very sophisticated theoretical analyses available,
but the object of analysis is often something as mundane as a T-shirt or
an afternoon's surfing. One running question will be - what motivates this
sophisticated analysis? what is gained by it exactly?, or , more simply
- is it all bloody worth it?. As any readers of my own work will note (!)
, I mean these as genuine questions, and have by no means made up my own
2. The issue takes on a particular
shape when we consider methodology and validity. How do we know these anlyses
are right?. Are there any grounds for preferring one approach rather than
another? How can different analyses be tested or applied? Again, these
issues will run and run.
3. As an erstwhile sociologist,
I tend to think in terms of broad approaches or 'theories'. There is no
obligation for you to do so too, though, and this is by no means a systematic
social theory course. But you will find references to certain 'isms' in
the texts, and certain sections where writers attempt to settle accounts
with each other in a 'theoretical' way. A full engagement with these debates
is beyond us in a short course like this, though, but some brief and early
points might help.We shall see some actual analyses based on these approaches
when we consider the specific topics each week, but you might find it useful
to turn to the glossary now, and look up the sections on marxism, structuralism,
figurationalism and ethnography.
4 For the workshop, we can start
with a look at the piece by M. Hayes on recipes (in Day), or on margarine
advertising (in Barthes). As you read through, you might want to respond
to the following questions:
#2 CCCS Traditions
What are the main points the author
is making, about the specific topic and about culture in general?
What evidence is used to suppport the
How convincing do you find the arguments?
Are there any alternative ways to analyse
1 We begin with the work of the influential
CCCS/OU Popular Culture group who began trying to claim the study of youth
cultures for marxism in the 1970s. Youth cultures in those days seemed
promising for marxists, offering a kind of cultural politics which seemed
good at upsetting the authorities.
2 There were also challenges for
marxism too, though, producing some early ground-clearing: youth seemed
to be a field occupied already mostly by biological or psychological accounts
of the 'natural' problems of 'adolescents'. For the CCCS writers, social
class had been ignored, yet it was the real source for many of the
problems facing youth. Age was important too - class and age affected youth
in a 'double articulation' ( Intro. in Hall and Jefferson)
3 What were these problems? P. Cohen
had identified some social problems of loss of identity (see Hall &
Jefferson), following the breakdown of the traditional communities of London's
East Eand after the War. Other writers like Willis (Learning to Labour)
pointed to the problems faced by 'the lads' at school - a classic case
affected by both age and classs.
4 What solutions were available
to youth? Marxists hoped for political solutions, but were also interested
in cultural solutions. Youths expressed and resolved their problems and
dilemmas, dramatised and acted them out in youth subcultures and styles
- expressing a desire for lost community in gang territorialism m(or fandom
these days), or a hope of a classless society in 'mod' respectability (or
techno-fantasies). As politics, these solutions were limited, of course
- they offererd only 'imaginary' or 'magical' resolutions of the problems.
5 Various mechanisms helped form
these stylistic solutions (helping analysts to decode them). Willis uses
the notion of homology, for example, which expresses some perceived similarity
between one's position and some symbolic qualities in various objects -
British motorbikes symbolise a past tradition of industrialisation and
community threatened by Japanese technology (explaining the status to
be gained by bikers owing and maintaining one), for example.
6 Often, these symbolic connections
are only dimly understood by the members, but other youth are more positive
and conscious of creating a style, classically one cobbled together from
materials already provided by the market (secondhand 1950s clothing, trainers,
gothic haircuts and tattoos, perhaps). This free-wheeling assembly of materials
is often called bricolage (like homology, a term borrowed from structural
anthropology). Apart from theoretical gains, using terms like this emphasised
the positive, creative, skilled, aesthetic aspects of youth cultures, against
critics (from left and right) who wanted to see them as commercially-provided
7 CCCS writers were also well aware
that the authorities were capable of bricolage too, however, and Hall et
al's Policing the Crisis... documents the emergence of a particular 'moral
panic' about youth in the mugging phenomenom of the 1970s. Here, the press
and the police and the 'respectable' public did their own interweavings
of cultural materials (symbolising street crime, sexuality, unemployment,
'weird' religions and foreign ways) to create the image of the black mugger,
a symbol of crime, urbanism, and other undesired social and political changes,
a metaphor for all that was wrong with Britain in the 1970s, and a main
plank in the turn towards 'law'n'order' that ushered in the Conservative
era ('Thatcherism' as Hall was to name it).
8 For the workshop, read one of
the specific case-studies in Hall & Jefferson, and contrast it
with accounts of the participants at the time (eg from interviewing your
relatives, 1970s people in College [no ageism though]).
#3 Gramscianism and
1 As #2 implied, gramscians need
a 'proper linguistics' to pursue further their interests in the mechanisms
of coding and decoding, both how the emerging Thatcherite bloc was able
to successfully 'code' or 'articulate' a new popular vision of Britain,
and how any popular form of resistance might be articulated on the left.
As Hebdige explains, there were also some academic issues at stake - gramscians
wanted some kind of rapprochement with their old allies (the left-wing
literary critics like Williams, and Hoggart). And there were some structuralist
marxists to be taken on - represented on our booklist by Coward.. Hebdige
also suggests that the symbolising activites of the masss media must be
central to any study of youth cultures, since (to paraphrase him) the nostalgic
view of working class community held by skinheads is as likely to be derived
from Coronation Street as from any real local historical knowledge.
2 The problem was that (structural)
linguistics refused to be just 'bolted on' to marxism, and gradually developed
interests of its own, away from marxist agendas. Barthes' work shows this,
as he moved towards a more abstract interest in how language worked: marxist
interests in codes as forms of ideology designed to keep proles quiet ceased
to be at the centre of things, and attention was directed towards other
effects of language - how codes delivered many kinds of meanings, or narrative
tension, feelings of involvement, and other kinds of pleasure.
3 Theoretically, structural linguistics
started to see language as increasingly self-contained, with the meanings
of signs given by their relations to other signs and not by reference to
some essential external events (like class struggle). This notion was to
lead in the end to postmodernism.
4 Gramscians fought hard to keep
their linguistic allies under control (see Hll's commentary in CML) and
to try to find the right line between linguistic analysis and material
analysis. Crises developed in thework on politics, for example.Some old
allies (Like Laclau) urged them to head towards 'post-marxism' and see
marxism merely as an (optional) discourse with no special claims to validity.
Others (like Jessop et al) criticised them (Hall and Jacques especially)
for focussing too much on the 'discourses' of Thatcherism and not enoough
on the real material changes to the economy that were taking place.
5 The dilemmas persists to this
day,. in the later work that followed the main pieces on youth cultures.
Hall's recently published contributions to debates about ethnic identity
show them clearly (in Donald and Rattansi on our booklist - and see his
bits in Ten.8 2, 3 1992). On the one hand, Hall wants to argue that black
British identities are real phenomena, with real roots (!) concretely determined
by the history of slavery and diaspora, added to specific factors at work
in Britain. On the other, he wants to say that black identity is a matter
of linguistic articulations, the interplay of discourses, a much more malleable
and less central affair, one identity among many, optional, dependent upon
how one articulates one's experiences, no more privileged than any other
6 To be very unfair, it seems to
me that gramscians have argued the discursive side very hard against 'class'
as an identity in their struggles to 'modernise' the Communist Party),
are weaselling at the moment about 'race' as a 'core 'identity, and are
embarrassingly silent about the third great core identity - gender. Further
problems await in my view - is being a consumer or a green a real or a
discursive identity? Laclau and others were advocating ethnicity as some
kind of 'master identity' to explain (and welcome) the collapse of communism
in Eastern Europe in 1991 - should Serbs and Croats be advised to rearticulate
their identities now, though?
7 To return to our main focus, for
now, the workshop focusses on punk, one of the youth subcultures that reveal
the dilemmas, for Hebdige. Punk was so flexible and bizarre that it seemed
to elude marxist analysis altogether (for the enthusiasts, like Hebdige),
and offered instead a street version of surrealism, deliberately playing
with, rearranging and subverting various signifiers for its own sake, as
it were, and leaving homologies far behind. Sceptics among you might consider
that an optimistic reading, focussing on the art student wing of punk and
ignoring the commercial interests at work. A glance at the very cynical
account in The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle might help stimulate some
# 4 Excessive Maleness?
1 We've hinted at some of the
issues here already. It became clear early on that focussing on spectacular
street youth cultures would also focus on males at the expense of females,
as McRobbie pointed out in the very first collection (Hall & Jefferson).
Gramscians at least hastened to restore the balance, and special CCCS collections
were produced on women (Women Take Issue, Off-Centre, and see the McRobbie
collection) and on black people (The Empire Strikes Back). Lots of other
work included sections on black people and women too (eg CML). However,
the issue arises again - can these topics merely be added to or bolted
on to underlying model of 'double articulation', or do they introduce
new problems which require new concepts?
2 Mc Robbie argued forcefully that
women and girls had just been neglected in the earlier studies, and demonstrated
this particularly well in her critique of youth subcultural analysis in
Willis and Hebdige: to be very brief, she argued that rebellious youth
also lived in families, had mums and sisters and girlfriends, and so their
stylistic rebellions must reflect this important context of gender relations
too, yet this had not been studied adequately if at all. Further, the very
problems and solutions faced by youth were quite different for girls -
the control of girls' sexuality (as a 'problem'), and 'bedroom culture'
(as a 'solution') indicate the differences. Studying the leisure activites
of females was to lead to considerable developments into new areas of interest
(the mass media audience, for example, in Hobson's work), and, correspondingly
into new methodologies ( to grasp the significance of ranges of pleasure,
for example, as the course goes on to demonstrate).
3 A theoretical crisis emerged early
on too, in Women Take Issue. Again, briefly, it was argued that new concepts
were needed to focus on the areas that affected women especially (and had
emerged as crucial in the Women's Movement of the time)- the family, sexuality,
the structure of the personality, 'the personal' in general. The writers
in WTI saw no reason to head for Gramsci to supply these concepts, nor
to try and tweak the concept of hegemony still further, and preferred instead
to locate themselves in the structuralist marxist tradition (and elsewhere).
4 Black people too proved to be
problematic for the purists. Black youth culture was not really ignored,
not even in the early work (Hall & Jefferson contains a chapter on
black youth). Hebdige (in Subcultures...) wants to go further, though,
and argue that 'race' can be seen as a central determinant for youth cultures,
that the relations to black popular cultural elements structures white
ones every bit as strongly as class or age.
5 The black collective that produced
The Empire Strikes Back also had reservations about the concrete findings
of some of the analyses which had failed to really grasp black experience.
New work was needed, based on experience and struggle, not on an attempt
to make existing concepts stretch. Gilroy even includes his colleagues
in the CCCS for this error, and offers a reinterpretation of Hall et al
on black muggers, or Hebdige on Rastafarianism (for example). Gilroy was
to go on to produce an excellent analysis of the codings of white racism
and black identities in There Ain't No Black (and we have seen something
of Hall's recent work on black identity): both writers have been rebuked
recently by a famous black activist (Sivanandan in Comunities of Resistance...)
along the lines of Gilroy's own earlier critique (that such 'academic'
analyses lose the distinctiveness of black experience).
6 The theoretical wrangles are largely
absent in the more concrete work . In Clarke and Critcher (The Devil Makes
Work...), my favourite example, 'race' class and gender somehow simply
co-exist and add up, while the issue of whether they might diverge or contradict
each other, politically or theoretically, is repressed.
7 For us, the problem remains, right
in the middle of the concrete work, as the workshop might show- how do
you study the popular cultural activities of black people and/or women
(or any other ethnic or sexual minorities *, for that matter)?
- do you have to be a member
of the group to really understand it?
- what theoretical frameworks
are suitable to explain the activities?
- do any general implications
for youth cultures follow from these studies?
* see Dyer in Bridges and Brunt
(eds) Silver Linings... for a rare study of male gays and disco
#5 Music and Youth
1 If you have read this far, you
will have noticed that the debates range well beyond youth cultures. The
gramscians themselves seemed to have lost interest in youth cultures, in
fact (see Hebdige's confession in Hiding in theLight), and Frith
(in Haralambos) explains why - briefly, youth had ceased to be the main
metaphor for social change and cultural renewal as youth unemployment turned
rebels into victims. Younger readers might also be wondering on a more
personal level how and whether all this 1970s material relates to modern
youth . This week begins a sequence designed to address these issues, and
to bring in some work on pop music to start us off.
2 Music has always been one of the
main characteristics of youth cultures, along with argot and dress, yet
it offers special problems for the analyst:
3 The actual analyses of musical styles
(in Hebdige, Chambers, or Frith) show the complexities and the limits of
a simple reduction of musical style to the function of just representing
(eg via homologies) relatively permanent youth cultures.
the production of music shows a number
of complexities and differences (eg between the tight economic control
and commercialism of the studios and record producers, and the less commercial
apsects of independent production or,above all, of live performance)
at the consumption end, although definite
subcultures are associated with some music, the audience is more flexible
and mobile than that. Again, consumption circumstances vary - listening
at home or at a concert, for example.
(a) black music, and its
convoluted development in and out of liasions with white styles (as well
as reflecting changing social conditions for black people)
4 In the workshop, students can try
to analyses the nature of modern youth groupings - eg those who attend
'raves', or the modern suburban record-buyer.
(b) the detailed interconnections
and internal references between the emergence of 'progressive rock' in
the 1960s, the reaction to it in the country/folk revivals, the reaction
to that in turn from devotees of heavy metal, keen to recapture the music
for the urban working class, the development of 'teeny-bop' for the emerging
young female audience,left out of heavy metal fantasies, and the more sophisticated
and jaded response to conventional sexuality in the 'trash aesthetics'
of glam rock.
# 6 Leisure
1 Leisure is another site to display
the clash of rival perspectives, and we focus this week on the attempts
by gramscians to colonise the field (via the work of Clarke and Critcher,
or the later variant in Hargreaves), and consider some of their difficulties.
2 Clarke and Critcher want to argue
that leisure is structured ultimately by the usual cultural/political struggles,
patterns of setlement and crisis and the like, and feel the need to use
this view to see off earlier sociologies of leisure (like those of Parker
or Roberts). As usual, the project wants to offer a complex, non-reductionist
marxist account of leisure. One interesting feature of the approach is
the attempt to add in feminist work (largely Deem's) on gender as a structuring
agent. Race is not foregrounded, and there is little theoretical discussion
of how to integrate class and gender.
3 Hargreaves borrows from Foucault
to offer an 'elaborated gramscian' account. Again, historical evidence
is amassed to show the elements of struggle (and attempts to control) in
the development of 'free' lesiure activities, and the complex articulations
of combinations of social groups, and the development of 'disciplinary
technologies' to manage and domesticate them. Gender is developed as a
concern here (and even more so in Jennifer Hargreaves' piece in Rojek L
for L). Some modern lesiure activities are discussed (critically) - my
favourite is the health and fitness craze, which is allied to consumerism,
and comes tostand for the most potent combination yet of disciplinary technologies.
4 Critics want to suggest that leisure
patterns are too complex to be managed in gramscian terms. Figurationalists
offer a similar history of popular lesiure, but deny the underlying structuring
influence of 'struggle' (see Rojek in Capitalism and Leisure Theory). Contributors
to the Rojek collection (Leisure for Leisure) want to criticise the definitions
of leisure that dominate earlier work, including gramscian pieces, and
go on to raise new possibilities once we abandon a strict work/leisure
separation (see especially Moorhouse, and Bishop and Hoggett). They advocate
a new open-ness to the subjective experiences of leisure,(employing ethnography
or Freudian analysis, for example) instead of an attempt to read in political
significance from the beginning.
5 In the absence of much research
on subjective experience so far, students might like to explore some of
these personal meanings in the workshop - are participants in sport able
to find meanings which rise above the disciplining of the body? Can housework
ever be 'leisure'?
#7 Leisure and Pleasure
1 As #6's notes show, early interest
tended to be focussed on 'official' or organised leisure and its political
consequences, its role in hegemonic struggle or patriarchy (or both). A
number of developments, closely allied to new work on the audience in media
studies, or on consumerism (which see below), changed the focus in recent
years. Now, concepts like 'pleasure' came to the fore, and researchers
began to explore the obvious pleasure that punters found in a whole range
of new activities. Fiske's work offers a good range of these activities:
surfing, playing video games, shopping, fantasising while watching videos,
wandering around cities and so on.
2 Earlier analysis had been rather
suspicious of such pleasures, seeing them as a hook to deliver the audience
to disciplinary technologies etc. Fiske and others see a new hopeful significance
in them, since participants seem able find or impose pleasures of their
own, and thereby avoid or resist the ideological effect.
3 Fiske's optimism draws heavily
upon the work of de Certeau (and Bakhtin), who celebrate the ways the apparently
powerless have of tricking the authorities, pretending to go along with
official discourses while quietly mocking them, poaching the odd illict
pleasure here and there while authority's back is turned.The resources
to do this have stayed with powerless groups in modern societies, and circulate
(as 'popular cultural capital') in networks found among neighbourhoods,
drinking circles and various other informal gatherings.There is an unmistakeable
echo of the earlier work on the resilience of youth.
4 Frow is less certain about the
significance of these activities, and sees them as less original and spontaneous
(or subversive) as the enthusiasts. Again, participants in workshops can
recall their own attempts to seek pleasure in the ironic reading of official
discourses in Butlins holiday camp, or Club 18-30, or in the joys of shopping
without buying (or studying without meaning it?), and ask themselves whether
or not the system always wins in the end.
#8 Media 1
1 There has long been a close attention
to the pleasures delivered by film and television (and printed media),
and a lotof work devoted to examinng how this pleasure is managed by the
producers. Early work tends to be suspicious of this pleasure, seeing it
as 'ideological': films or programmes sucked in the audience by encouraging
sinister kinds of uncritical involvement, then subjects the viewers to
conventional messages about women, black people, proles, capitalism, Englishness
or whatever. The radical answer included an emphasis on media education,
to make the viewer aware of these dastardly tricks, and enable them to
be critical and resist - Buckingham offers a good account.
2 Codes and narratives involve the
viewer, as work on 'realism' demonstrates. The classic realist piece offers
the viewer a range of positions to begin with, each of which is flawed,
and then delivers resolution (and pleasure) by offering the 'real'
position which explains all the others. Experienced viewers gain heightened
pleasure by anticipating the final resolutions. No viewer can experience
pleasure except by submitting to the power of the narrative, though.
3 Representations deliver pleasure
too. There is the obvious pleasure derived by 'peeping' at beautiful women
(to parody a famous piece by Mulvey on the dominant gaze). There are less
immediate pleasures to be gained by recognising conventional representations
and 'filling in' the background - when we see a 'brassy blonde', or a black
youth, or a 'respectable' household, or a Cockney sergeant, or the American
West landscape, we can already begin to speculate about what will
occur, and find pleasure when it does occur. Again, this depends entirely
upon being able to occupy the most conventional stereotyped positions,
4 Students can reflect upon
these matters - and, in anticipation of next week's work ask whether 'positioning'
always works - by watching a conventional piece - a Marilyn Monroe
movie, perhaps, a Western, a soap, or a detective film.
#9 Media 2 -- the Audience
1 Studies of the television audience
have followed again this shift we have noticed before - from a gloomy,
passive view of the audience as positioned victims of ideology towards
a view of an active, skilled, resisting groups capable of imposing their
own views and readings.
2 Much work focusses upon 'effect
analysis' - attempts to pin down precise, usually psychological changes
in people as a result of watching television. The classic work concerns
the old favourite issues of sex'n'violence, but, as Buckingham argues,
old lefties were equally worried about racism, sexism etc. This sort of
analysis has run into serious difficulties, though, since it is almost
impossible to show a definite effect arising solely from television. For
sceptical and careful analyses of this tradition, see the Belson study
(on violence), and the very different work by Braham on TV and racism.
Root has a more popular summary of the problems.
3 Root also introduces an idea of
the audience as skilled readers and interpreters to complement the work
of Fiske (in #8). This also qualifies the gloomier marxist anxieties
about 'positioning' discussed last week. Here, the audience is capable
of ironic readings of even the most unpromising material - like feminist
readings of Dallas (see Ang), or of melodramas (see Brunsdon). Fiske has
many other examples - including viewers who resist the conventional closings
of Miami Vice by simply switching off just before the solemn morialising
at the end of each episode.
4 The power of these subversive
readings is starting to be felt by the TV industry itself - eg Grossberg
argues that postmodern TV knows it must demand the attention of the audience
and has largely abandoned the attempt to carefully position that audience
in a clever narrative delivering ideology (eg in the realist mode). Fiske,
similarly, suggests that a certain looseness in TV programmes is now a
commercial necessity - viewers must be left with unfinished programmes
with lots of space for their own readings or they will not watch. On the
other, I wonder if TV has not now caught up with subversive readers and
is now in the business of apparently subverting itself in a nice safe way
- via programmes like Soap, Moonlighting, Waynes World, the number of
60s reruns (this time as farce - Thunderbirds, Stingray etc).
5 In the workshop, students can
pursue the reactions of themselves or others as they watch a soap (or a
cult 60s re-run). What subversive readings are available of Neighbours?
Where do they come from?
1 Once more, views of consumption/consumerism
have changed over the years. Once it was bad and ideological, an invitation
to be positioned by a narrative, or subjected to a disciplinary technology.
Consumerism involved providing people with prepackaged commercialised goods
under the promise of false pleasures and short-lived fulfillment, depriving
them of the ability to create things of their own.
2 As Tomlinson's Introduction
suggests, there has long been a peculiarly British suspicion of consumerism
involving the threats to the 'moral economy' of British youth: consumerism
promised too much too early, an easy and soft life, instant gratification
without sacrifice or hard work. A particular element was added from the
shape of consumerism in austerity Britain, which involved the importation
of American goods (see also Hebdige in Hiding in the Light on the cultural
significance of 'American' styling).
3 The major critics, though, are
usually seen as the critical theorists (see Glossary). Marcuse's famous
analysis saw the modern capitalist economy as having to create 'false needs'
to keep people buying, and foresaw the complete commercialisation and administration
of pleasure - even private and erotic pleasures (as in the sex industry).
Thus the system tended towards 'one-dimensionality', as needs and desires
were increasingly shaped towards what the economy could provide.
4 Gramscians have never liked this
ruthlessly pessimistic sort of analysis, and have gradually discovered
the active and wittily resisting consumer, as our discussion of the TV
audience or the 'poacher' have shown. Willis's latest is also a good example,
showing how the young unemployed use the goods they consume (like second
hand clothes or cheap posters) to produce genuinely artistic work, grounded
in 'popular aesthetics'. Readers must judge for themselves whether these
activities (or the lyrical accounts of the creativity of the video games
player in Fiske) 'talk up' these activities and lend them a significance
they do not warrant.
5 The consumer has also emerged
as a major political force for gramscians as a quick perusal of the "New
Times' phase of the struggle against Thatcherism reveals (see Hall S and
Jacques M eds New Times). Nava's article offers a typically optimistic
piece, attacking Marcuse (and Adorno, who she lumps together with Marcuse,
as all gramscians tend to do), and arguing that consumers have real power
to affect markets and alter the course of capitalism (eg via consumer boycotts).
In the workshops, we can discuss the conditions under which consumer power
might work - or be re-incorporated into capitalism just like the critical
1 As we saw with recipes from Week
1, food is a cultural and social matter, not merely a biological one. Mennell
offers a useful way into the discussions (and helps us to do some revision
on different approaches):
2 Students can try out these analyses
by reflecting upon or observing actions at meals, and trying to chart meanings
in some of the ways outlined above - is the Xmas meal simply 'traditional'?
What lies behind its importance?
structuralist/ anthropological approaches,
like C. Levi-Strauss's focus on the symbolic significance of food. Food
is something to think with. Food preparation involves the transfomration
of natural substances into social ones, and thus stands as a metaphor for
some important thinking about society, its relation to the natural world,other
natural/social processes (like sex) and so on. The options in food processing
- raw/cooked/smoked/cured- offer a valuable source of symbolism in myths
modern work on food taboos also show
the social significance of food and social patterns and processes. There
is a whole sociology of taste to explore here (se also James's work on
'kets' and chocolate).
marxist work reveals the connections
of food to class and power, and there are some interesting accounts of
the (very capitalist) food industry too - eg Simmonds (in Tomlinson) on
the amazing capacity of the food industry to respond to changes in taste
(and consumer boycotts) by colonising non-capitalist food production (eg
via cash crops in the 'Third World').
figurational accounts (Mennell's own
preferred approach), which trace the complex interactions of a number of
individuals and groups in producing the modern menu. Some of these elements
will look like classes or struggling groups - but there are also accidental
or whimsical elements (like the irrational preferences for forks, or the
actionsof chefs in deciding to write down recipes).