Saturday, May 15, 2010


A familiar example of a vital anecdote associated with a concept is the scene of hailing offered by Louis Althusser.  The anecdote is relevant for us in showing another case of turning (-vert).
I shall then suggest that ideology "acts" or "functions" in such a way that it "recruits" subjects among the individuals (it recruits them al), or "transforms" the individuals into subjects by that very precise operation which I have called interpellation or hailing, and which can be imagined along the lines of the most commonplace everyday police (or other) hailing:  "Hey, you there!"  Assuming that the theoretical scene I have imagined takes place in the street, the hailed individual will turn around.  By this mere one-hundred-and-eighty-degree physical conversion, he becomes a subject.  Why? Because he has recognized that the hail was "really" addressed to him, and that "it was really him who was hailed" (and not someone else) [Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses"].
Routine concerns the trace of turn, meaning not this or that version, but turning as such, the direction and directedness of attitude, and a temporal movement that includes at some point or site a pivot or switch, enabling or generating the experience of peripety and anagnorisis.

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