• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Intro to semiotics
 

Intro to semiotics

on

  • 680 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
680
Views on SlideShare
680
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
82
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Intro to semiotics Intro to semiotics Presentation Transcript

    • What is Semiotics?
    • Semiotics • The study of – signification and communication – how meaning is constructed and understood – how signification changes in different contexts
    • Semiotics • Ferdinand de Saussure (“so-SIR”) (1857-1913) – “It is possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek semeîon, 'sign'). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them.”
    • What is a Sign?
    • Sign • A sign is an entity which signifies another entity.
    • Sign • • • A sign is an entity which signifies another entity. We make meanings through our creation and interpretation of signs. Charles Sanders Peirce (“purse”) (1839 –1914)
    • Sign • Whether something is a sign depends on a sentient entity ascribing it with meaning.
    • Sign • Whether something is a sign depends on a sentient entity ascribing it with meaning.
    • Sign • Whether something is a sign depends on a sentient entity ascribing it with meaning. “leaf”
    • Sign • Whether something is a sign depends on a sentient entity ascribing it with meaning. ?
    • Sign • Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign. • Anything can be a sign as long as it is interpreted as signifying something by a sentient being.
    • Koko the Gorilla (view video)
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) What are the two components of a Sign? ? ?
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) Components of a Sign Signified Signifier
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) Components of a Sign Signified is psychological Signifier is physical, sensual
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) Commonsense dictates that the signified, the concept, is primary. Signified is psychological Signifier is physical, sensual
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) But many contemporary theorists consider the signifier, the medium of expression, just as important. Signified is psychological Signifier is physical, sensual
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • Signs don’t have an essential or intrinsic connection to nature.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • Signs don’t have an essential or intrinsic connection to nature. • Meaning is structural and relational rather than referential.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • Signs don’t have an essential or intrinsic connection to nature. • Meaning is structural and relational rather than referential. • Signs refer primarily to each other.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • Signs don’t have an essential or intrinsic connection to nature. • Meaning is structural and relational rather than referential. • Signs refer primarily to each other. • Signs only make sense as part of a formal, generalized and abstract system.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • The word “cat” only makes sense in relation to other words: – – – – – – – – “dog” “animal” “pet” “owner” “cute” “purr” “lick” “hunt”
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning “purr” “cute” “owner” “lick” “cat” “hunt” “animal” “dog”
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • No sign can make sense on its own but only in relation to other signs.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning • No sign can make sense on its own but only in relation to other signs. • The meaning of signs is in their systematic relation to each other rather than deriving from any inherent features of signifiers or any reference to material things.
    • Semiotics is about a System of Meaning The word “cat” has more in common with other words than it does an actual cat, or whatever a ??? may actually be.
    • Language is Binaristic and Negative • • • • • • • • • • Cat vs. Dog Man vs. Woman Nature vs. Culture Good vs. Evil Yes vs. No Black vs. White 0 vs. 1 Life vs. Death Gay vs. Straight Up vs. Down • • • • • • • • Cold vs. Hot Happy vs. Sad Sleep vs. Awake Free vs. Pay Pretty vs. Ugly West vs. East Paper vs. Plastic Republican vs. Democrat • Healthy vs. Sick • Few vs. Many
    • Things are defined not by what they are, but by what they are not.
    • Things are defined not by what they are, but by what they are not. “red”
    • Most of the information communicated is actually negative. “red”
    • Linguistic Signs are Immaterial (Saussure) • Word signifiers have no material value magically embedded in their sounds or appearance.
    • Linguistic Signs are Immaterial (Saussure) • Word signifiers have no material value magically embedded in their sounds or appearance. – This immateriality is their value. – If linguistic signs draw attention to their materiality this hinders their communicative transparency. – New words can be invented or imported as needed
    • Dyadic Model (Saussure) Signified is psychological Signifier is physical, sensual
    • Triadic Model (Peirce) Object in the real world or speaker’s mind Signified is psychological Signifier is physical, sensual
    • Triadic Model (Peirce) Object in the real world or speaker’s mind Interpretant is meaning from decoding representamen Representamen is physical, sensual
    • Three ways signs represent objects (Peirce) • Symbol • Icon • Index
    • Three ways signs represent objects (Peirce) • Symbol – Arbitrary or purely conventional – 100% needs to be learned – language in general, alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers, Morse code, traffic lights • Icon • Index
    • Three ways signs represent objects (Peirce) • Symbol – Arbitrary or purely conventional – 100% needs to be learned – language in general, alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers, Morse code, traffic lights • Icon – Resembling or imitating the signified – similar in some quality – portrait, cartoon, onomatopoeia, metaphors, sound effects imitative gestures • Index
    • Three ways signs represent objects (Peirce) • Symbol – Arbitrary or purely conventional – 100% needs to be learned – language in general, alphabet, punctuation marks, numbers, Morse code, traffic lights • Icon – Resembling or imitating the signified – similar in some quality – portrait, cartoon, onomatopoeia, metaphors, sound effects imitative gestures • Index – existential connection to the signified – evidence, smoke, footprints, pain, thermometer, clock, knock on a door, photograph, handwriting,
    • Three ways signs represent objects (Peirce) • Symbol • Icon • Index Signs can be one, two or all three of these at once.
    • What are some Symbols? Words Words Words
    • What are some Icons? “Chirp chirp” “miu miu” “vroooom”
    • What are each of these?
    • What are each of these? Symbols Icons Symbol Icon of a real-world symbol (street sign)
    • What are some Indices? (plural of index)
    • Semiotic Analysis
    • Semiotic Analysis
    • Semiotic Analysis Olympic Style Guide for Beijing Citizens (for foreigners to interpret Chinese people positively)
    • Semiotic Analysis Olympic Style Guide for Beijing Citizens • No wearing pajamas in public
    • Semiotic Analysis Olympic Style Guide for Beijing Citizens • No wearing pajamas in public Westerners may read the person as crazy, or the culture doesn’t respect personal boundaries and privacy. The Chinese government recognized that Westerners will read the pajamas incorrectly.
    • Semiotic Analysis Olympic Style Guide for Beijing Citizens • No more than three color groups in your clothing. • No white socks with black leather shoes • No public displays of affection • When standing toes should point outwards • Handshakes should not last more than 3 seconds
    • Semiotic Analysis What are the intended signifieds?
    • Semiotic Analysis What are the intended signifieds? • • • • • • • • • • Man Sexy Healthy / Ripped Calvin Klein brand Comfortable Virility “Package” Inadequacy??? Jealousy??? Fear???
    • Semiotic Analysis What are potential unintended signifieds?
    • Semiotic Analysis What are potential unintended signifieds? • • • • • Homoerotic??? Corporate Propaganda “Douche bag” Alienated (from brand)
    • Semiotic Analysis How is the signifier shaping the signified?
    • Semiotic Analysis How is the signifier shaping the signified? • Black and white – form and mass rather than color – authenticity
    • Semiotic Analysis
    • Semiotic Analysis Transcoding (the signified)
    • Semiotic Analysis Transcoding (the signified) “Black” (“Black is Beautiful” from the 1960s) “Nigger” “Queer” “Bitch” Minority groups often appropriate the language of oppression to assert power
    • “The CD cover of his album Put Yo Hood Up (2001) shows Lil’ Jon clad in a pair of black rubber coveralls, his open-mouthed expression of rage and intensity augmented by the added effect of gold teeth, sunglasses, and long dreadlocks, creating a general impression of a demented slaughterhouse worker or other grotesque. The draping of the rebel flag around his shoulders in the picture, far from constituting an endorsement, communicates the hostile occupation of a symbol. The cover image seems the worst nightmare of a white supremacist, a demonic, superpowered black man appropriating, occupying, and defiling the treasured symbol of Dixie.” http://www.southernspaces.org/contents/2008/miller/9a.htm
    • Semiotic Analysis I'm Sorry Miss Jackson "I wear the belt for southern pride and to rebel. . . . I don't take the Confederate flag that serious as far as the racial part is concerned." Andre 3000 of OutKast
    • Semiotic Analysis Trans-coding (the signified) Other examples?
    • Semiotic Analysis
    • Semiotic Analysis
    • Semiotic Analysis