11 December 2012
Long Assignment: Mean Girls Discourse
Gee’s theory of Discourse is that mushfaking can never be successful without already being native within that Discourse or learning the Discourse early on through apprenticeship. The movie Mean Girls is an example to confirm Gee’s claims, but also the claim of constant resistance and reform to mushfake a dominant Discourse well, needs to be included. If the claim is not included, values will conflict between primary and secondary Discourses. The conflict of values in Mean Girls demonstrates the dangers of mushfaking a dominant Discourse and proves that mushfaking itself is not enough to become successful without resistance and reform efforts, which in consequence, will lead to identity conflicts and a retreat from the dominant Discourse.
Gee expressed the primary Discourse as the identity learned early in life from parents and home society (Gee). In the movie Mean Girls, Cady Heron, the main character, is from Africa. Her primary Discourse is that of the values and beliefs instilled upon her from her parents and the society of Africa. The customs are completely different in Africa than they are in America, where Cady moves to attend high school after being homeschooled all her life. Throughout Cady’s journey in high school she is constantly making a reference to the way problems would have been dealt with in Africa. Whenever a problem would arise, Cady would imagine everyone acting like animals and settling the problem through a fight from dominance like actual animals would in Africa. Cady makes this reference because her primary Discourse presented that each problem should be solved in such a manner, that she believed this how a situation in America would be handled.
With a strong connection to her primary Discourse, many conflicts and tension arose between Cady’s secondary Discourse and her primary Discourse. The first conflict comes from a test put in place to become part of the...