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Chapter Abstract Introduction The Dice Man Method Theory Results

Gender Postmodernism

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Analysis Conclusion Bibliography

Abstract In this dissertation I try to analyse discourses in the Dice Man with the aid of Hoey's discourse analysis, then applying the theories of post-modernism influenced by Baudrillard, Featherstone and Lyotard and the feminist theories of Chodorow, Butler and Irigaray to try to find the power discourses expressed by the seemingly dissolved individual of the post-modern text.

Introduction After writing my B-level dissertation on the subject of postmodern theory and where and how it can be combined with qualitative methods (Rde, 2004), I wanted to test the conclusions and see if it indeed was possible to do qualitative research based on post-modern theory. As I started to make a research plan however, I soon realised that what I was aiming at was not so much to make a postmodern work, but rather to pitch a post-modern text against the rivalling analyses of post-modernism and classical sociological theory. This was then crystallised into my decision to use a linguistical method to create a data set of discourse examples, that I then would analyse with both feminist and post-modern theories so as to pitch them against each other. Below I will explain my line of thought for this projects evolution, giving the reader a chance to understand the process of this work and give a cleare picture of what I am trying to do.

To explain my interest in the particular text I have used (the Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart), I have included my final comment from my B-level dissertation. Ever since I wrote it I have been interested in just what lies behind the discourses of the postmodern Dice-Man; This selfbiographic portrait (the Dice Man-my comment) shows the strongest sides of postmodernity when it comes to explain the desintigration of the subject and the power of discourses. However, it also shows its problem, that in a completely schizofrenic subject the discourses are still in power, the only difference is that there is no master discourse. This shows postmodernitys perhaps biggest and most classic

problem; it can deconstruct and falsify our perceptions of reality in a brilliant way, but it cannot point us towards any alternatives. (Rde, 2004, p. 20, my transl.)

The text I have worked with; The Dice Man, is Luke Rhineharts self-biographical inversion of psychoanalysis where he claims mans inhibitions are let free when life is governed by chance and desire rather than the assimilation of bourgeois values and the theories of Freud. What interest can a sociologist find in the work of a fallen psychotherapist, trying to invert the teachings of Freud by, literally, the fall of the die? What questions about society can be answered by looking at the discourses of a text, albeit a nominal one, that is written under the laws of chance and tries to invert Freudian psychotherapy on its own terms?

The answer lies in the discourses of post-modernism and the questions of social identity and change put forth by theorists such as Lyotard, Baudrillard and Featherstone. Especially Baudrillard focuses the sociological lens towards the creation of simulacra and simulations, the iron-rule of hyperreality in a world were the real has been done away with. This discourse fits surprisingly well with the view that is put forth by Rhinehart, and it is by putting the Dice Man under the lens of postmodernism and discourse analysis that I will try to find the meaning of the die.

In my work with the book I have been interested in two main questions; firstly, how can post-modern theory, especially Baudrillards, explain the impact of the dice man? Secondly, in what respect can we see the discourses of gender and power at play in the supposedly free discourses of post-modern life in the Dice Man? When I started out I worked with a broad categorisation of classical sociological theory classified into three subcategories - gender, class and ethnicity. Quickly, however, I realised that gender alone was enough to give a satisfying number of examples and working with a single theory would make it easier both in my comparison with post-modernity and in chosing the theoretical framwork I would work with. These are the questions that I will pitch against each other in the analysis of my data.

As I began, I was aiming at deconstructing the text, with the help of the theories of Derrida, and finding the traces, the logocentrism of logic and the holes in the blinds of langue, I hoped to be able to trace the discourse of the Dice Man to its source, compare it to and evaluate it using Baudrillards theories of post-modernism, thus closing the circle and opening up the discourse of the die. Then I would be able to compare it and measure it against an analysis based on Chodorows and Irigarays theories. As I started my work I soon realised that Derridas theories was not only hard to use but not what I really needed. What I needed was a reliable method for analysing discourse segments, which the could be used in analyses based on feminist and post-modern theories. This led me to the theories of Hoey, and especially his Problem-Solution pattern.

So instead of doing a discourse analysis with the help of Derrida I instead worked with discourse segments, applying Hoeys Problem-Solution pattern, and then applied my theories to the raw data I had thus created. This made the work both easier to present with clear lines drawn between both theory and method as well as between data and analysis.

The Dice Man Written by American psychotherapist Luke Rhinehart in 1971, the Dice Man portrays the authors discovery of dice-living from his first awareness of chance impact on life to his imprisonment by American authorities. The book itself is written in a style fitting to the author and subject, the roll of the die has literally been responsible for the themes and content of the book. Just as with all other statements on dice living it really does not matter whether this statement is true or false in any way. What matters is that it is a text bound by the discourse of chance and the die, as well as incorporating all the discourses of its author and narrator, and this makes it perfect for examining the work of discourses in what I would call a post-modern setting.

I will presume that readers of this dissertation are familiar with the book, and will not delve into it further here, except to establish my take on it in this dissertation and why it makes for an excellent object of study.

In trying to escape the boredom of upper middle-class, white, middle-aged and heterosexual life, Luke Rhinehart captures the essence of being in post-modern theories, especially Baudrillards world of simulacra and Lyotards language games, as well as giving ample examples for the feminist theories of Chodorow and Irigaray. By letting the dice make more and more of his decisions, Rhinehart finally comes to live a life where every choice and whim is made by the roll of the dice. What I will try to examine through my analysis is what the narrative of the post-modern man hides behind the simulacra of the die. Perhaps all discourses and narratives of power that are said to have been deconstructed and played with by the eroding power of postmodernism are not so easy to eradicate and perhaps they still have an influence that seems to point to them containing something of reality still?

Method I have chosen to use discourse analysis to study the Dice Man. Why? This extract from Lyotard will help me:

Most people have lost the nostalgia for the lost narrative. It in no way follows that they are reduced to barbarity. What saves them from it is their knowledge that legitimation can only spring from their own linguistic practice and communicational interaction. (Lyotard, 1998, in Elliott, p. 323)

This is important for my object here; to study the discourses of power and gender within the Dice Man. What we must turn to when applying postmodernism to the study of a text is the language games that the text builds up. Since human interaction creates discourses, we can study these language games by studying discourses. With the help of discourse analysis we can study the smallest common denominator of

language games - the building stones of discourse patterns. This is why I have chosen to use discourse analysis as my method in this dissertation.

However, I use two distinct formulations of discourses in this work, one is linguistical and taken from Hoey (1983) and the other is sociological. The linguistic definition from Hoey concerns how words are used to build sentences, and sentences in turn are used to give meaningfull accounts; discourses. This does not mean that a discourse have to be built up by individual sentences, a discourse can consist of only a single sentence, as long as it gives us a meaningfull account. This is what lingustically is defined as discourse; how sequences of words are given a meaning above and beyond the meaning of its parts. This can also be summed up in the phrase sensemaking-practice which sometimes is used instead of discourse (Allen, 1992)

As an example; I met him so I said hi is a discourse consisting of two parts; I met him and so I said hi. Read without the context of the first statement, we do not know why I said hi. When put together this two short statements create a linguistical discourse that makes the statements more understandable than when they are read apart. Texts cannot be analysed as individual sentences that are analyzable on their own, rather these sentences form discourses that make the text as a whole understandable (Hoey 1983).

The sociological definitions (since there is not a single definition) of discourses do not concern the linguistical workings of language as much as the social system of language games. Here discourse decides what can be said, and therefore what can be known, within a social context. There are of course number of ways to discuss discourse and its workings from a sociological viewpoint, which is something that I will go more into in the theory section about postmodern theories. Here I just want to make clear that the sociological definition of discourse is something entirely different from the linguistical one, and the main reason for doing so here is that my method is concerned with the linguistic definition of discourse, while the theories I will work with and my analysis is concerned with the sociological one.

My specific method of discourse analysis here will be based on the method of textual discourse-analysis which has been described by Georgakopoulou (1997), Hoey (1983) and Salkie(1985). The first issue I came across was the mostly linguistic focus of these books; ie they were focused on linguistic studies of how language builds meaning, not sociological applications where the social nature of language games is studied. This was good for me however, since I was working with a book as my textual-data, and not a TV-show or movie. If I had been looking at popular medias like television there is a huge amount of other, mainly ethnographic, literature which focus on how recipients of the media use it and make their own interpretation of it by applying different discourses, or sense-making practices as it is sometimes called (Allen, 1992). What I wanted however was a method for studying the discourses of a popular text (as in a written text, popular here meaning it is a novel and not an academic text) where speculation about how different readers use the text become extremely hard, not to say impossible.

What I was trying to uncover, was not how the Dice Man was used by its audience, or what discourses people reading it drew on in their interpretation of it. Rather I was trying to see what discourses the author created in his writing, consciously or unconsciously. The textual analysis method invented by linguists such as Hoey gave me a method to map the discourse production within the authors textual production through analysis of how discourses are constructed from sentences put together to create meaning (Salkie, 1995).

My first task when sitting down with the text was to determine how I was going to work my way through it and create data from the raw material of the text. As I was trying to find discourses of power I would need some easy codes for finding classical expressions of power as well as a few examples to that exemplified the postmodern characteristics of the text. The classical ones to work with would be "gender", "race/ethnicity", "class" and postmodern discussion. This would allow me a basis for coding the text and finding important excerpts to analyse using discourse analysis.

Using these four broad categories as a guide for working through the text I managed to find one category that I found interesting, gender, as well as a number of excerpts that brought to light postmodern discussions such as the multiplicity of meaning in any given statement. Gender was the pre-dominant topic in discussions of power in the book, and would thus make a good choice for putting into contrast against the multiplicity of power in the postmodern notes.

The basis for my coding was to make the text more accessible to my attempts to analyse the discourses in it, by pointing out which discourses were re-accuring and which were not. This made it easier to find the parts that should be put under the scrutinizing eye of discourse analysis, i.e. be in the data set, and also gave a basis for mapping the context into which the discourse analysis must be put. It also made it possible to find out which categories was drawn on the most in the text which is how I after a first coding of the whole text came to work with gender and postmodernity.

When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of discourse analysis both Hoey (1983) and Georgakopoulou (1987) have been the basis for my work. There is a number of basic literary discourses that Georgakopoulou (1997) points out, one of which is the Problem-Solution pattern were she actually draws on Hoey (1983), who's book is concerned solely with this subject. Though I will mostly concern myself with the method championed by Hoey (1983), having found it an often occurring discourse organisation in the text (Rhinehart, 1971), I have also had help from Georgakopoulou to sharpen my view of the discourse organisations multiple possibilities.

So what are these nuts and bolts exactly? Saying that I used Hoey's Problem-Solution pattern is all nice and fine, but what does it actually entail and why is it a good method for what I have tried to do here? Here I will lay out the basics of discourse analysis as explained by Hoey (1983) and also give an example of the version of discourse analysis that I used in my work.

First of all let me reconnect to my definition of linguistic discourses above, and especially the shorter discourses I have used here. When I am talking about my data set I refer to discourses as the building stones of language that takes words and forms them into comprehensible sentences. A discourse can also be formed from sentences and even other discourses, working on a larger and larger scale within a text. Working with these smaller segments of text allowed me to work with a very specific method for creating examples - i.e. my data, that also was small enough to be easily analysed (Georgakopoulou, 1997).

According to Hoey discourse organisation can be perceived by readers, and the discourse itself contains elements that helps the reader perceive its organisation. This function is sequence, which can be paraphrased or highlighted by projection into question-answer dialogues. The full pattern for Problem-Solution would be situationproblem-response-result-evaluation, to which there are multiple variations possible (Hoey, 1983, ch.3).

This is in fact a very common way of building up discourses, especially in everyday conversations and writing. It is of course applicable to other situations as well, most scientific texts are built up in a similar way. I am going to work with a text that mainly handles everyday discussions and situations narrated and analysed by its author, so this pattern of discourse building is very fitting for creating data out of my text material.

Discourses are often multi-layered and it may often contain overlapping patterns of problem-solution where, for example a negative response causes the discourse to spiral on. So what might first appear to be a very easy way of looking at discourse formation can actually contain very advanced discourse formations. What I aim to do with this method is to unravel the discourse-building that always goes into writing, create examples, and then to apply my theories outlined above to interpret my findings.

Now, for a simple example of the discourse analysis method of Hoey (1983) I have chosen a short statement from the Dice Man that I will put the method to use on to give the reader a clear example of just how I am going to work with the text itself.

Life is an island of ecstacy in an ocean of ennui (situation), and after the age of thirty land is seldom seen (problem), At best we wander from one much-worn sandbar to the next(response), soon familiar with each grain of sand we see (result).

Here we can see clearly that even a simple statement such as the one above can include almost the full number of building stones that make up Hoeys pattern, only the evaluation part is missing here, which often is the case in shorter discourses. This is the level of discourse analysis I will work with the most in this dissertation. Even though there are higher levels of discourses built up from smaller blocks like this one, and there is also a multitude of discourses possible from one block of text if longer fragments are chosen. I will try to work with smaller fragments like this one however, since I am not trying to make a full linguistical analysis, and with shorter fragments the possibility of multiple discourses in one block of text is more controllable.

I have also used a system of denoting the clauses that I will use in the rest of my work. The words in paragraph are placed after the passage they refer to. This system I have used for all the examples in this dissertation.

With this in mind I set about to collect a sample of short discourses from the text as the basis of my discourse analysis. My method for doing this was first to code the whole of the book after my two codes. When doing this I wasnt really looking for specific discourses, I just went through the book several times highlighting passages that fitted into one of my categories - described the build-up to a rape scene for example.


When choosing samples to work with I severely reduced the number of segments in the text by testing them against Hoeys Problem-Solution pattern. Most of the examples were of such a nature that they did not readily fit into Hoeys method for discourse analysis - the foremost reasons being that the segments were either long discussions (in general shorter discussions often fit into the pattern, but many long (34 pages) conversations do not so easily. I found it especially hard to find discussions of sufficient length that handled my chosen subjects gender and postmodernity), or the discourse segment that interested me (i.e. handled one of my two chosen subjects) was to short to build a decent Problem-Solution pattern.

This means that even though this work is qualitative in nature and I have not used specific statistical methods to measure quantities in my work, there is still a good deal of security in having a lone researcher picking out the segments to work with. The number of segments long enough to work with and handling the specific areas of interest was hard enough to come by that selectivity never became an issue.

I also had to make a choice as to how large text segments I would use in my data; if I used too big segments it would reduce the numbers of example possible to analyse, if I used too small it would be harder to get good data since many of the discourses would not contain all the parts of the Problem-Solution pattern, and those that did would be harder to analyse. I chose to work with segments about 40 to 120 words in length since they gave good data with my method, but still contained enough mass of text as to contain all the parts the Problem-Solution pattern. Let us do a little exercise to see the possibility of shorter discourses by taking out a part of Example 9 (p. 24, below) and analysing it on its own.We are looking at only the result sentence of the original example using the Problem-Solution pattern;

However, breaking my established patterns (situation) was threatening to my deeply ingrained selves (problem) and pricked me (response)to a level of consciousness which is unusual(result), unusual since the whole instinct of human behavior is to find enviroments congenial to the relaxation of consciousness (evaluation).


Here we can see that within what seems to be a simple discourse there can be multiple discourses underlying the discourse that we are analysing. My reasons for not putting the analysis at this level is above,. This shows the reader that the discourse examples I give is not the only ones that can be found in the text. It is entirely possible, for example, to instead analyse only two-sentence discourses and still find the ProblemSolution pattern.

Theory The two theories in this dissertation are post-modernism and gender theories. Here I will introduce both of them, starting with post-modern theory.

Post-modernity is not an easy term to adequately describe or capture. I will mainly use the writings of Baudrillard to capture the essence of what he perceives as the postmodern society and individual. In my analysis I will also try to critique the discourses of post-modernism in the dice-man, which will be covered by feminist theories.

Post-modernity basically sees the grand narratives of modernity (progressiveness, etc.) are dead, and that the new post-modern age has brought a fracturing of the narrative of social life. This view was brought on by the deconstruction of texts to show their logico-centrism; all texts and their arguments rely on self-proving central logics (such as progressiveness) that can no longer uphold their own legitimation. Their is also a wide consensus on the decentering of the subject, moving it from the grand narrative of rational evolution to the field of discourses vying for power. We are as fractured as the social world around us, tugged along by an ever-changing stream of discourses vying for our attention. (Butler, 2002)

Post-modernism, even focusing on only one main theory; Baudrillards, is not advisable to present as an authoritative meta-narrative. There are certainly other perceptions than Baudrillards on post-modernism, other ways of perceiving for example the change from modernism to post-modernism and what this change entails.


I have decided to include Baudrillards theory mainly because it deals heavily with the concept of simulations and simulacra, and perceives post-modern society as having moved from more basic simulations of reality to the level of simulacra, which instead hides the fact that there is nothing underneath the illusion provided by the simulation. This is a theme that fits well with the concept of the Dice-Man and my attempt at deconstructing it.

For Baudrillard (1999), in the post-modern world the old truths and reality itself have given way to the hyperreal and simulacra. Presentations of the world are no longer representations of an underlying real. Instead the presentations create their own reality, the hyperreal, thus the precession of simulacra (simulations without origin in reality) is the new order of the social world. A world were, according to Baudrillard, Disneyland just serves to hide the fact that the childishness it portrays is more real (for Baudrillard this would simply mean to have more power of the social creation of what is important, what matters) than the America you will meet in its parking lot (Baudrillard, 1999).

Perhaps the best way to show the usefulness of Baudrillard to my analysis is in his own words:

Everything is metamorphosed into its inverse in order to be perpetuated in its purged form. Every form of power, every situation speaks of itself by denial , in order to attempt to escape, by simulation of death, its real agony. Power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy." (Baudrillard,1999,p. 333)

Indeed, is the dice-man just a reformulation of the old power in a new, schizophrenic, guise? Have Luke Rhinehart escaped from all his inhibitions by giving up everything to chance, or has the white, middle-class, academic just inadvertently staged his own death to be able to rebirth himself with a new glimmer of hope, a new goal?


The other perspectives on post-modernism that I will make use of in my formulation of a post-modern method for interpreting the text is Lyotard and Featherstone. Lyotards definition of the post-modern condition ie the loss of the grand narratives hold over culture and truth - is helpful for defining the initial doubts and qualms plaguing Rhinehart, as well as the reason for his rebellion against societal norms and psychoanalysis.

Lyotard puts the decline of the narrative as an effect of the evolution of technologies and the liberal individualisation after decline of Keynesianism and the finishing of reconstruction in Europe after WW II. Just as Lyotard refers to Nietzsches statement that European nihilism resulted from the truth requirement of science being turned back against itself. (Lyotard, 1998 p. 321), so does Rhinehart turn the focus on the human ego in Freudian psychoanalysis back on itself - resulting in the nihilistic disintegration of the ego exemplified by the Dice Man. Lyotard points out that science - and therefore psychoanalysis, is just a language game among others, and can not claim supervision of the language games of human need and impulse.

The erosion of ego through dice living originates within the steady erosion of knowledge within psychoanalysis itself if we are to follow this thread. Thus Rhineharts attempts at dissolving his own ego is not a revolt against psychoanalysis, it is rather the postmodern dissolving of psychoanalysis claims to priority of the language games of human need. This becomes important when we try to put the Dice Man into context with the analytical positions between feminism and postmodernity.

Featherstone has worked on many different aspects of post-modernism, but the ones that I will make use of in this work is his theories on cultural exploitation/globalisation and discourses. What makes Featherstone interesting is that instead of seeing post-modernism as something akin to a grand narrative like the grand narratives of the past that it supposedly killed off (funny that, the king is dead, all hail the king.), he instead perceives post-modernism as the recognition that discourses are always at war with each other, trying to claim the right to define the


social world. Post-modernism for Featherstone, then, is recognizing that these conflicting discourses exist, and that social reality is not made up of ordered existence and the continous evolution of grand narratives (dialectics, the path of western civilisation, etc.) but rather by conflicting discourses on how society is formed and should be perceived. This is highly useful in this work becauses it allows us to look at the discourses on sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class and power in general without subverting them to the iron-rule of another discourse. In this case the post-modern discourse, but of course the same goes for discussing problems within a dialectical or functionalist discourse of sociology.

For feminist theories I have used articles by Butler (1999), Chodorow (1999) and Irigaray (1999), to find a theoretical base for the gender-based discourse analysis. What I wanted for my gender theories was to capture a number of broad discussions about key points in feminism; the origin of womens roles in family and society and the way gender relations reproduce themselves. I will specify more clearly the reasoning behind chosing each single theory as I discuss it below.

Both Chodorow and Irigaray formulates critiques against, and draws on, Freudian psycho-analysis in their formulations of feminist theory. The big difference is that Chodorow in her article analyses the reproduction of Mothering from a Freudian perspective on the importance of the oedipal stage, while Irigaray formulates a critique of the Freudian and Classical take on "Woman", her sexuality and her whole being, by formulating a feminine auto-eroticism that always touches itself and always is avoided/un-understable/missing from the phallocentric view.

My reason for choosing Chodorow as a basis for part of my analysis is in her focusing on Mothering and its social reproduction. Her analysis is straightforward and easily adaptable to the method of discourse analysis. It gives me, as a young, male researcher, a way to analyse the texts1discourse on the mothering role of women and

which, lets not forget, is written by a man 15

the formation of all societal formations connected with this; heterosexual relations, the family, parent-child relations, etc.

In short, Chodorows analysis of the formation of heterosexual gender roles in the oedipal stages is based on the different object-relational experiences of this stage. While men learns to relate to their Mother, the primary caretaker, as Other, women instead relate to her as Same. The oedipal stage means that men is treated as an opposite by their mother and their further attachment to her is repressed. Women on the other hand retains more concern with this stage all their life, and according to Chodorow their inner object world is more complex than mens as a result. Womens heterosexual relations also require a third part as a part of this mothering process; a child, while mens attachment to their mother means that their needs are fullfilled through the heterosexual relationship alone.

Chodorow also analyses the impacts of these conclusions in a male-dominated society. The mothering of women furthers the sexual and family divisions of the genders. As a social process that produces gendered divisions, the reproduction of mothering is important to upholding male domination. One interesting aspect of Chodorows article is that she sees gendered divisions as reproductive, akin to Marx class conditions, and thus kept alive by their own process, which gives her argument a very strong basis both for further analysis and for arguments.

Irigaray's article might not fit the bill as easily as the others, but it actually contributes quite a lot to the analysis of the texts discourse on women. The article is a critique (albeit a very negative one with no clear solution) on the Freudian and Classical definition of Woman. Since the text I am analysing (Rhinehart, 1971) is written by a well-educated psychoanalyst, it fits the bill of feminist critique of the male-centered onthology very well.

Irigaray also works with the theme of Other, but in her article it is Woman who is Other, in being different from the always central Man. Woman is always described in


terms of what she is lacking compared to Man, always seen to be trying to appropriate a penis through marriage and children. Within this masculine world-view woman can never truly be herself, always existing through Otherness she is completely alien, creating the mystery of women.

According to Irigaray, just as a womans sexual organ is not one, so she herself is not one. Within the masculine world-view dominating our civilisation her true self is always escaping scrutiny, even for her herself. In fact she can never be one, she is always several.

Butler's (1998) article, finally, fits into the general theme of post-modernist in that it draws on Foucault's work with social genealogy (Foucault, 1977). She also ties in very well to Baudrillards (1998) theory on simulacra., in that she sees the reproduction of heterosexual roles in gay and lesbian relation ('butch' and 'femme'roles for example), not as reproductions of an original, but rather as a copy of a copy, what Baudrillard (ibid.) would call the precession of simulacra.

Gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being. (Butler, 1998 p. 275)

This example binds together a postmodern view of the importance of style in the creation of postmodern persons, and a feminist view of the highly rigid regulatory frame that binds these, at first glance free, stylizations into patterns. This discussion could be held on any number of subjects, but within the feminist framework that Butler puts it in, it shows us that the stylization that creates gendered bodies is still regulated by a masculine framework superimposing itself on the supposedly freefloating discourses of postmodern life.



In this part I will only present my examples and how I have coded them using Hoeys method. Before each example I will put the segment into the context it is lifted from by describing the larger segment of text which it fits into. Since the Dice Man is written in a very chaotic fashion and often jumps from one subject to another between chapters I will only try to explain the larger narrative of the specific chapter from which each example is taken rather than putting it into a context incorporating the whole of the text, for a full description of the texts narrative see the chapter the Dice Man above. After each example I will try to discuss the difficult points that occurred to me and explain my interpretation of Hoeys method and how I have implemented it. The narrator, when referred to, is always the writer; Luke Rhinehart.

Gender Example 1, p. 54 (Rhinehart, 1971) In this example the narrator introduces one of the supporting characters of the novel; Arlene Ecstein, the wife of Luke Rhineharts colleauge Jake Ecstein. It is lifted from a larger context where the whole of both Arlenes and Jakes lifes are introduced and analysed from the viewpoint of the narrator; Luke Rhinhart.

Although there were unconfirmed rumours that on her otherwise slender body she owned two marvelously full breasts (situation), the baggy sweaters, mens shirts, losse bluses and over-sized smocks she always wore (problem) resulted in no ones noticing her breasts (response) until theyd known her for several months (result) - by which time theyd forgotten all about her (evaluation).

In this first example we can see all of the five points clearly used in what can be described as a straightforward argument. Even though an argument might be raised about the positioning of the problem part - in that it might be argued that the problem is in fact that her breasts are not noticed. I argue for this interpretation because of the placement of the word resulted which of course refers to the following being the result of what came before, and on the basis of the ability of my interpretation to be paraphrased into a dialogue (Hoey, 1983) such as this:


Q: What was the result? A: No one noticed her breasts.

Here there is a clear dialogue within the text, where it refers to itself both backwards in time and at this very segment. This is a strong statement for it being its own part of the local discourse.

Example 2, p. 74 (ibid.) This discourse segment is lifted from the infamous rape scene at the beginning of the text. The larger discourse incorporates the narrators need to break out of his boredom and his sudden decision to go downstairs and rape his friend and colleagues wife; Arlene Ecstein, if a dice hidden under a playing card left at the poker table apartment is a one. This decision is also the first time the narrator lets the dice decide a course of action, and is quite extensive, especially if you include Luke Rhinharts descent into more and more desperate boredom as an introduction.

Rape had been possible for years, decades even (situation), but was realized only when I stopped looking at whether it were possible, or prudent, or even desirable (problem), but without premeditation did it, feeling myself a puppet to a force outside me, a creature of the gods - the die - rather than a responsible agent (response). The cause was chance or fate, not me. The probability of that die being a one was only one in six. The chance of the dies being there under the card, maybe one in a million (result). My rape was obviously dictated by fate. Not guilty (evaluation).

In this segment the internal dialogue is even clearer, due to the nature of the segment being self-referential (as to the author) rather than describing a person outside the author. Here one simple technique can be used to see the work of discourse formation - the removal of certain words that binds the segment to a context. In this case this is the word but. When every part of the discourse is looked at in its own right, it is easier to see the discourse formation when you are not distracted by context that is not


referring to the text itself - it here refers to a choice of the author unconnected to the text, which means it can safely be ignored when looking at the discourse.

Example 3, p. 118 (ibid.) Here the narrator has started to try to dissolve his own integrity by letting the dice make his decisions. As a part of this dissolution he also starts to see people close to him as objects; so as to more easily follow the dictates of the die.

Love I saw as an irrational, arbitrary binding relationship to another object (situation). It was compulsive. It was an important part of the historical self (problem). It must be destroyed (response). Lillian must become an object (result): an object of as little intrinsic effect upon the or interest for me as...Nora Hammerhill (name picked at random from Manhattan phone book) (evaluation).

Here we see that the result of a discourse can be affected by the context, the referral to one of the characters becoming an object here is what the author in person sees as the result of this particular train of thought. This might seem like jumping to conclusions and drawing on knowledge about the authors intentions which no-one reading the book can be presumed to possess. However, by using the Hoeys problem-solution pattern, these assumptions are sprung from a methodological standpoint with a sound theoretical basis, and not my own imagination. What I am analysing is the discourse and its elements, not the mind of the author.

Example 4, p 81 (ibid.) This example, just as example 3 above, is from a chapter at the beginning of the book where two supporting characters are introduced and analysed. Here the narrator analyses Arlene Ecsteins education. The background is that she and Jake Ecstein married while in college, and she dropped out of school to work and so support him financially while he finished his medical studies. No deeper explanation of what kind of studies Arlene dropped out of is given, except that the narrator explains that she


was happy to miss her finals - which presumably were to take place the same year she dropped out.

Arlenes education had thus come from life (situation), and since her life had been spent clerking at Gimbels, girl-Fridaying at Bache and Company, typing at Woolsworths and controlling a switchboard at the Fashion Institute of Technology, her education was a limited one (problem).

This example only makes use of the first two parts of Hoeys method. The reason for this is simple - as a discourse it is just a discourse within a bigger one, and since it is used only to make a statement (in this case a presentation of a character), it does not pose direct problems, resolve or complicate them and present results and evaluations. The reason I have used it is that it is still a good example of the discourses of class that appear in the book, and I have still found it usable in my analysis.

Example 5, p. 474-5 (ibid.) This segment is taken from a chapter where the narrator follows a dice decision to perform a sexual act with another man. This particular discourse example is from the end of the chapter where the narrator explains the needs underlying his response and need of this experience, and also gives insights into the Luke Rhineharts view of sexual domination.

There is something basic in wanting to be dominated by a superior creature - whether man or Die(situation). Responding to men respectfully and passively has never been my majority nature (problem), but the times the Die has ordered me to play a woman (response) have uncovered the latent slave in me (result).

This was perhaps the most straightforward of my examples to analyse. The only problem was the distinction between the response and the result, since it was no clear demarcation between them by punctuation of any kind. By paraphrase we can reformulate the response sentence into; (Some) times the Die has ordered me to play a


woman. The result can also be paraphrased into; (This) have uncovered the latent slave in me. The first sentence is altered so it is clearly a paraphrase and even though the second sentence is strictly not a paraphrase since I only add one word that is not in the actual text but which makes the discourse pattern clearer; it still goes under this heading since the sentence have been changed to show how the discourse is built up.

Example 6, p. 244 (ibid.) This example is from a chapter where the narrator explains the Luke Rhinehart Power Pattern for Men, which tries to explain the nature of mens daydreaming through different stages of life; in short going from conquering the world to conquering women and finally back to conquering the world again, with stages of saving the world in between. This particular segment is the stage which comes after the stage in his 20s when a man thinks he has the world at his feet and dreams about big Wallstreet incomes. Here the descent into adolescent dreams about saving the world once again is the topic.

But in the next few years he is earning a modest salary as second clerk at Pierce, Perkins and Poof and is upset at the injustice and hypocrisy that exist in the world (situation): a world in which some men are athletic stars, James Bonds and millionaires and he is not; he is morally appalled (problem). In his dreams he recreates the world, righting all wrongs, eliminating suffering, redistributing wealth, redistributing women, ending all wars. He becomes a reincarnation of Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ and Hugh Hefner (response). Evil governments topple, corrupt churches collapse, laws are revised, and Truth, written in Xeroxed tablets of stone by our hero, is presented to the world (result). Everyone is happy (evaluation)

Here the big problem in the discourse analysis is to fit the place of the ending of one part of the discourse and the beginning of another. There is certainly grey areas betweeen where the situation ends and the problem begins for one. This is not as big a problem as it might seem at first glance, as we can yet again fall back on Hoeys


(1983) tests of discourse patterns. Here I used the method of paraphrasing, i.e. reformulating sentences to see if a statement can be made that fits into the description of the part of discourse we are looking at or answers a question from an earlier segment.

Example: The problem part here can be paraphrased into: he is upset at world in which some men are athletic stars, James Bonds and millionaires and he is not; he is morally appalled.

This refers back to an earlier statement made in another segment of discourse, which in the case of a problem segment almost always is the situation. So even though the last part of the situation which reads; and is upset at the injustice and hypocrisy that exist in the world, looks much like the problem statement, it is here referred to in the problem statement. This means that it is in fact a prerequisite part of the problem, here the state of mind of the first-person-author, and not a problem-formulation in itself.

Postmodernism Example 7, p. 454 (ibid.) This example is from the last part of the book, were Luke Rhinehart is given one of his more extreme dice-dictates; to kill another human. When rolling his die to determine his long-term goals he has constantly given it a slim (one in thirtysix) chance of rolling the kill another human decision. This particular discourse is from the beginning of the chapter where he explains his reason for including this choice among his long-term plans, and also why it is not very disturbing to him at first glance.

The great advantage of being brought up in a culture of violence is that it doesnt really matter who you kill: Negroes, Vietnamese or your mother - as long as you can make a reason for it, the killing will feel good (situation). As the Dice Man, however, I felt obligated to let the Die choose the victim (problem). I flipped a die saying odd I


would murder someone I knew, even it would be a stranger (response). I assumed for some reason that the Die would prefer a stranger (evaluation), but the die showed a one; odd - someone I knew (result).

Here the evaluation actually comes before the result, something which is not implied in Hoeys Problem-Solution pattern, but as Hoey (1983) himself argues, there are multiple ways of building discourses, and even if the Problem-Solution pattern covers the most, there are still many instances were it is modified. Here the author, who is also the character of the episode, makes a statement before the die-roll about what he thought it would be, since his response in the discourse is actually throwing the die, it is rather a pre-emptive evaluation of what the die will be. The actual roll of die however, which comes later, is of course the result.

Example 8, p. 65 (ibid.) This example is from an after-poker-conversation between Luke Rhinehart and his senior colleague Dr Mann, retold at the beginning of the text, just after Luke has started to experiment with letting the dice make his decisions. The conversation is about Lukes errattic behavior, something which Dr Mann blames on his earlier attempts at eastern mysticism, and which he thinks is still the reason for Rhineharts strange behavior. The first speaker in the example below is Dr Mann, while the closing comment is Rhineharts.

Youre dreaming, You expect too much. A human being, a human personality is the total pattern of the accumulated limitations and potentials of an individual (situation). You take away all his habits, compulsions and channeled drives (problem), and you take away him (response). Then perhaps, perhaps, we ought to do away with him (evaluation).

First of all the finishing of Dr Manns discourse by Dr Rhinehart shows that the Problem-Solution pattern can be used to analyse conversations as well as straightforward presentations. It is of course quite natural for people to finish each


others sentences; and discourses, and the best place to intersect something in anothers discourse is as an evaluation; which is the case in the example above. This, just as my other examples of postmodernity was chosen because it deals with the theme of post-modern destructions of paradigms regarding closed discourses about society and human rationality.

Example 9, p. 113 (ibid.) This example is from a chapter which describes the general nature, success and problems of Luke Rhineharts first months of dice-living. i.e. letting the dice control more and more aspects of his life by making decisions via dice rolls. In this segment the narrator describes the experience of being forced into new roles and situations by dice decisions and analyses the experience.

New places and new roles forced me into acute awareness of how others were responding to me (situation). When a human is being himself, flowing with his inner nature, wearing his natural appropriate masks, integrated with his enviroment, he is normally unaware of subtleties in anothers behavior (problem). Only if the other person breaks a conventional pattern is awareness stimulated (response). However, breaking my established patterns was threatening to my deeply ingrained selves and pricked me to a level of consciousness which is unusual, unusual since the whole instinct of human behavior is to find enviroments congenial to the relaxation of consciousness (result). By creating problems for myself I created thought (evaluation).

This is one of the more straightforward examples in my data samples. Of course this does not mean that it cannot be broken up into smaller discourses and so create further discourses within it, as in my example in Method above (p. 11). Discourses are by nature not easily defined and always have the possibility to contain multiple discourses.



Here I will use my theories to analyse the data I have created above. I will first present a specific analysis of the Prolem-Solution pattern and then go on to a more general analysis of the whole data set after this.

In the gender examples there is a clear pattern of reference to women in the problem part of the discourses, with the exception of example 5. All of the examples refers to women as objects or tries to objectify women. The situation is always described from the position of a man, be it the narrator in the first example or men in general in the second: Example 1: The problem of Arlenes clothing results in no-one noticing her breasts Example 2: Rape is not prudent, which is solved by legitmization of an outside force Example 3: The historical self of the narrator must be destroyed by treating the woman as an object Example 4: Wanting to be dominated by a superior creature - a man, is natural, a situation that is inherent to being a woman Example 6: Women should be redistributed between men to set wrongs right

When we look at just these paraphrased problem formulations we can clearly see the patterns drawn out by the feminist theorists. We can clearly see the patterns laid out by Irigaray (1981) defining Woman as Other, here as a tool to satisfy Man (example 1 and 2), who needs to appropriate a male sexual organ through being dominated by a man (example 4). Women are trade-objects that can be redistributed to create a better world (example 6). All of these views originate from a male centered view of the world where woman is obviously Other and an item to trade and use.

When looking at resolutions and applying Irigarays theory we can see in example two the overriding structure of a gendered society superimposed on the whimfull experience-seeking of Rhinehart. The fact that it is another person that he must rape, a woman, does not factor into his evaluation of the deed. He is simply satisfied after having put the blame outside of himself, concern for the Other is not part of his


evaluation. Women is other and all that is required to satisfy the legalising of Mans actions is the satisfaction of Mans need. Example 4: When ordered to play a woman, the author has found a latent slave inside of him. This resolution of example 4s discourse also shows the Otherness of woman and her need to appropriate a male organ, something which in the authors discourse is inherent in not only being a woman, but also playing one. Without Otherness and prostitution of the body, one can not play or be a woman.

Butlers theory can help us to uncover the reproduction of gender roles and how stylization of bodies has an important part to play in creating sexualised bodies. Here I will first focus my analysis on how the problems in the discourses are solved. Example 1: People do not notice Arlenes breast until after several months, and then they have forgotten all about her. Here the object of a womans body (object because that is what it is created as through this discourse, and what it is treated as in the same) is created as something which has its inherent value only in its breasts. The stylization of woman creates an objectified body that exists to please men. Reproduction of gendered bodies through the stylization of gender roles. Example 6: Dreaming of becoming a new Buddha or Hugh Hefner, he sets the world right and makes everyone happy. The stylization of the man into a masculine hero-figure is how utopia is percieved to come true in the mans dreams. While men are constructed as hero figures righting the wrongs done to other men, women are goods to be redistributed more fairly between men. The very hero concept is part of the masculine superstructure of worldly importance, nowhere is the normativity of masculinity seen more clearly than in the figureheads of authority. The style of the saving hero; the strong leader, the enlightened tutor etc., is captured in the body of a man, that the saviour could be a woman is unthinkable.

Chodorows theory on the reproduction of gender roles leads us to seek the basis for gendered action within the examples. In example 3 the problem is that the narrator


must destroy his bond to his wife by treating her as an object. This tells us two things, first it provides support for Chodorows theory that the male heterosexual bonding requires no more than a woman. (Chodorow, 1998). The children of the family are not included in this argument for this reason, they are not a part of the historical self that must be destroyed. Secondly it tells us the masculine formulation of what a woman is to a man. When Rhinehart must get rid of his bond to his wife it is not an option to leave her, to forget about her. Rather he must treat her as an object with no personal attachments, he must reduce her to an object in his eyes. The masculine ownership of women in a male-dominated society becomes clear.

When we start painting the analysis with bigger brushstrokes we can begin to see larger patterns emerging. In all the examples of gender discourses I have chosen, Woman is the problem, not always the problem-part of the discourse, but rather that she always has a negative role to play in the story. She is not seen because she does not show her breasts in example 1, she is an obstacle to overcome in example 2 (the very fact of her being a person, a fact that must be overcome if she is to be raped), she must be reduced to an object in example 3, the very nature of being a woman is to be a slave in example 4, her education comes from life, and thus she is limited in example 5 and finally in example 6 she is goods to be traded and redistributed for the betterment of mankind.

Just as Irigaray describes Woman as Other, Chodorow points to the reproduction of gender roles that limits women (and men), and Butler points out the superstructures that gendered society imposes on women, the narrator of the Dice Man himself defines women as a problem for the male-dominated world. She is an obstacle to be crossed, an object to be rationally dominated and a lesser being whos very nature is to be enslaved. The discourse in my examples are not explicitly built to come to a point in a discussion about gender, but nonetheless there is a definitive structure to the positioning of women within the text. They are in short reduced to less than men, and sometimes below that, to the level of objects.


What analysis can Baudrillards, Lyotards and Featherstones bring to bear on the data? To begin with I will work on the same micro-level as with the feminist theories above, and then go on to draw a larger picture.

Baudrillards (1999) theory of simulacra and simulations is the closest to Luke Rhineharts own worldview; the world is an inescapable reproduction of simulations encroaching on reality. Just as Baudrillard sees the postmodern society as a precession of simulacra, Rhinehart sees humans as simulations of themselves. Illusionary personalities created by the governing rules of society, unable to express themselves when confined to a strict societal rule called personality.

Let us take a closer look at example 8. Here the discussion pinpoints the fact that by removing the drives, goals and compulsions of a person when you remove him. This can be interpreted as two oppossing discourses: Dr Manns interpretation (the first speaker, thus the comment at the end is removed): Yourre dreaming (situation). You expect too much (problem). A human being, a human personality is the total pattern of the accumulated limitations and potentials of an individual (response). You take away all his habits, compulsions and channeled drives (result) and you take away him (evaluation).

Although this follows closely to the discourse of the narrator which is the one I followed in my example. The difference is that Dr Manns discourse here follows the line that Rhinehart is dreaming when he thinks a man can be changed by dissolving his personality. The narrators discourse (which is the other person in the dialogue as well) instead follows the discourse in my example and therefore includes the last comment to involve the evaluation form the second speaker - Rhinehart.

I will look closer at example 7 using Featherstones (1995) theory of postmodern culture. According to Featherstone, seeing the conflicting discourses that vye for dominance within all aspects of human society is what postmodernity is about, and this example shows us how different meanings can be applied to a single discourse-


segment. It both incorporates discourses of race - it is negroes and Vietnamese that are mentioned as examples for people to kill, gender - killing your own mother, politics the mentioning of Vietnames and Negroes carries definitive overtones of the historical slavery in america and the Vietnam War. This means that what is in one way a straight discourse with a situation, a problem and a response to the problem, can at the same time carry a number of conflicting discourses struggling for supremacy over what we read into a text, and what is seen as important.

I will analyse example 9 with the help of Lyotard (1999). The discourse is focused on the entropical nature of integrated behavior here. Just as Lyotard describes the entropical nature of scientific knowledge, so Rhinehart maps out the entropical nature of human personality.

The only way to get outside of the pattern of human behavior is to break the patterns of expected patterns. This follows the same lines as for the creation of European Nihilism and Postmodernity in Lyotards article (1981). The basis for Rhineharts choice to break down the very fabric of psychoanalysis is a factor of psychoanalysis itself just as european nihilism sprung from enlightment.

In the discourse itself we can see this in the formulation of the problem nd how this is responded to. The problem is here responded to by breaking the very patterns that are defined as convention in the problem formulation. So the response is a rebellion at the conditions of the problem but which still has its basis in the problem and its inability to remain in control of the language game. By turning this language game on its head and using the normality of the problem against it - turning the language game on its head, the entropical pattern of self replication and failed truth claims is broken.

On a larger scale the theories of postmodernity gives us a more fragmented view of the text, as can also be seen in the examples above. It is not possible to put the finger on a master discourse in a certain example from the text. Whos discourse has precedence in the discussion between Dr Mann and Rhinehart? If we are to follow


Featherstone there is always a fight for precedence, in which Rhinhart as the narrator of the text has the upper hand. However, having initiated the discourse segment, Dr Mann also has a trumph on his hand.

When it comes to the motivations of the narrator and the discourses implications on other persons than the narrattor, this analysis makes it harder to pin down what is at work. Being occuppied with the nature of clashing discourses and the simulations that make up social reality makes it much harder to evaluate the implications of the discourse examples beyond their narrator. The one thing which can be said however, is that the postmodern analysis does not only leave room for one interpretation of what is being said in any given discourse.

Conclusions In this last part of the dissertation I will test the two theoretical standpoints against each other to try to see if the main standpoint of either side - masculine domination on the one hand and the lack of grand narratives on the other, can stand up to the critique of the other side.

The feminist analysis brings out three sides of the masculine domination of the discourses among the data. The critique of the postmodern theories would be that the grand narrative of masculine domination is instead just one of many discourses that can be found in the text. As we can see in the feminist analysis of the examples however the three theories do not build on a grand narrative that dominates the discourse. The theory of Chodorow builds on the grand narrative of psychoanalysis, but takes into its analysis the whole of society and the function of mothering on a social plane instead of fully anchoring it in the framework of psychoanalytic truthclaims. The same goes for Irigarays and Butlers theories, with the difference that they are leaning less on any grand narrative to build their argument. So even if the post-modernist critique of grand narratives can show that none of the examples exemplify a grand narrative it cannot falsify that there is in fact several different discourses of male domination embedded in the text.


When you turn the argument around it is instead post-modernism that must defend the point that there is no grand narrative against the facts brought on by the feminist analysis. This shows even clearer the strengths of postmodern theory; it cannot make any grand truth claims, but it can always escape the truth claims of others by labelling them as grand narratives. Any critique brought against the position that there is no grand narrative is certain to be labelled as a grand narrative in its attempt to impose a specific discourse on a text.

Final Comments As for myself I must say that the side climbing out of the ring of analysis as the winner is certainly feminism. The only claim that really can be made by postmodernism against the proof of male-domination brought forth by feminism is to partly shoot down its claim to dominance as just what the text is really about. Postmodernism cannot completely deny the claims of feminism, while feminism on the other hand readily can admit that there are other discourses of domination at work, which surely does not make the male-domination it shows with its analysis any less real. Even without grand narratives; oppression is certainly real, and showing that there are other facets to the dominator does not make the oppression go away.


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