Bring in a simple object that you think refers to something about yourself
Bring the object in a bag and list on a piece of paper in the bag what the object signifies
Keep both things secret!
Homework for Monday
To find a magazine- choose one you don’t usually read
Deconstruct the front cover using semiotics to explore- denotation, connotation, ideology, myth
Be prepared to present and share on Monday
Time limit 4 mins
Semiotics in 2 minutes!
In pairs explain Semiology to each other in 1 minute.
The second person must develop what the first person has said.
The Sign Game
What does the object signify to you?
Compare these with the signifieds you wrote down.
What do you notice?
What is the issue with naturalisation?
“ false consciousness”
Leads to an unrealistic understanding of how the world works and one’s role in society.
Beliefs expounded by the media become ‘naturalised’= Mythologising
An ideology is a belief system that is constructed and presented by a media text.
Media texts represent the world in order to support a dominant ideology.
What is the dominant ideology of this text?
Some Dominant Ideologies
Capitalism. The production of capital and consumption of surplus value as a life goal.
Patriotism. To love, support and protect one’s country and its people.
Marriage and family. The “right way” to live is to marry an opposite-sex partner and have children.
Male superiority. Men are more suited to positions of power, and more suited to decision-making at work and at home.
How far then are is our consciousness shaped by the mass media?
What is the purpose of ideologies? Is there one?
Hegemony is the way in which those in power maintain their control.
Dominant ideologies are considered hegemonic ; power in society is maintained by constructing ideologies which are usually promoted by the mass media.
Examples of hegemonic values
The police are always right
It is important to be slim
A credit card is a desirable status symbol
Mass immigration is undesirable
The poor are lazy and deserve their hardship
Men are better drivers than women
It is important to wear fashionable clothes
Gramsci’s Theory of Cultural Hegemony
It means that a diverse culture can be ruled or dominated by one group or class.
That everyday practices and shared beliefs provide the foundation for complex systems of domination
Gramsci and Hegemony
In "advanced" industrial societies hegemonic cultural innovations such as compulsory schooling, mass media , and popular culture have indoctrinated workers to a false consciousness.
You’re going to have a go at deconstructing signs and codes…
Where do we start?
I know what it means but how an earth do I know?
How do I interpret a sign?
‘tends to be described as the definitional, 'literal', 'obvious' or 'commonsense' meaning of a sign.
As Roland Barthes noted, Saussure's model of the sign focused on denotation at the expense of connotation and it was left to subsequent theorists (notably Barthes himself) to offer an account of this important dimension of meaning (Barthes 1967)
The interpretation of a sign for meaning it signifies.
What happens when we can’t decipher between denotation and connotation?
‘ Naturalisation’ Barthes 1977
Connotation, in short, produces the illusion of denotation- signifier and signified are identical.
Connotation becomes a ‘naturalised ’ process- creating the powerful illusion that denotation is a purely literal and has universal meaning
Barthes on Myths
Dominant ideologies of our time.
Orders of signification= denotation + connotation = ideology
The power of Myths
Hide the ideological function of signs and codes
They ‘go without saying’ and so appeared not to need to be deciphered or interpreted
Beliefs expounded become, as a result, entirely ‘natural’ and unquestioned.
Movie star- Marilyn Monroe
star qualities of glamour, sexuality, beauty - if this is an early photograph –
but also with her depression, drug-taking and untimely death if it is one of her last photographs.
Myth of Hollywood: the dream dream factory that produces glamour in the form of the stars it constructs, but also the dream machine that can crush them - all with a view to profit and expediency. (Hayward 1996)