The question of resistance as a pleasurable activity continues to be a theme within cultural studies. This essay argues that the ideology of pleasurable resistance is precisely the way that capitalist patriarchy maintains its hegemony through seduction. By focusing mainly on the writings of John Fiske and his employment of Foucault´s power/knowledge couplet and Barthe´s appropriation of jouissance, it is argued that the discursive subject position overlooks the value of the psychoanalytic understanding of fantasy identification. It is suggested that a more radical understanding of jouissance as developed within a psychoanalytic view of the split-subject needs to be addressed (or reinstated) into visual cultural studies research in order to take the seductive workings of fantasy into account. The essay ends with a call for a return to neo-Gramscian counter-hegemony through “popular visual education.” The difference between cultural studies and “visual” cultural studies is one of emphasis only. Throughout the essay the visual has been absorbed by the larger general category.


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