Language and creativity
Language and creativity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Language and creativity

5.3 Juxtaposing genres: Example 3

The final example of juxtaposing genres, Figure 8, is in the form of a calling card or invitation which was traditionally used as part of the ritual when the aristocracy visited one another. However, the card purports to be from a group of football hooligans – rather than from members of the aristocracy – thus producing a clash of social cultures (while also possibly referencing the fact that football ‘firms’ in the 1980s often did leave ‘calling cards’ with their victims). Deller sent these cards out to 50 teenage peers selected from Debrett’s Peerage & Baronetage. As Rugoff writes, ‘More than clever gags, these works succinctly (and humorously) rais[e] questions about how different groups in society stage their allegiances and declare their status’ (Rugoff et al., 2012, p. 10).

Described image
Figure 8 Jeremy Deller, Open Bedroom, 1993, The Chelsea Smilers mail-out, installed in the Deller family home (scan from p. 10 of Joy in People catalogue)

Fundamental to the way all these works operate is that domains have particular discourse and text genres, which are composed of elements such as text organisation, font, colour, etc. The conventions associated with communication in these genres cue us into expectations about the meaning and function of the texts; however, by putting a particular type of message into an unfamiliar genre of presentation, Deller brings about an unsettling, or at least thought-provoking, effect. This is, in a sense, a form of defamiliarisation, making the familiar unfamiliar pushing us to see the world around us afresh. All these imagine a different social reality and in this way make us re-evaluate (or see afresh) the social reality we do live in.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371