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# Semiotics

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A basic introduction to Semiotics and reading media texts.

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• the subverted signages were hilarious.

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• Thanks, infomative and clear.

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### Semiotics

1. 1. A2 Media Studies 3rd October 2011<br />Learning Outcomes<br />Understand how semiotic theory can be applied to Representation –<br />examine<br />Iconography<br />Connotation & denotation<br />iconic and indexical signifiers <br />Paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships<br />Iconic, indexical & symbolic signifiers<br />Connotation & denotation<br />KEY TERMS FOR THIS LESSON<br />
2. 2. DENOTATION & CONNOTATION <br />Roland Barthes – semiology- the study of signs and their relationship to meaning<br />Ferdinand Saussure – lingusitic structuralism<br />Rose <br />Is just a word<br />The reader shapes or decodes the meaning<br />Rose denotes a red sweet-smelling flower<br />Rose CONNOTES (has connotations of) love, passion & romance<br />
3. 3. PARADIGMATIC & SYNTAGMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SIGNIFIERS<br />Vertical or horizontal relations between words/ objects to create meaning<br />syntagmatic<br />Pa<br />rAd<br />I<br />gma<br />t<br />I<br />c<br />IN THE PARADIGM MODEL we can DEFINE SOMETHING BY WHAT IT IS NOT –i.e. dog is NOT A LION, TIGER, WOMAN ETC<br />This is called absence theory<br />The dog bites the man<br />Lion<br />Tiger<br />Woman<br />MEDIA MEANING IS CAREFULLY AND DELIBERATELY CONSTRUCTED<br />
4. 4. PARADIGMATIC & SYNTAGMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SIGNIFIERS<br />Vertical or horizontal relations between words/ objects to create meaning<br />syntagmatic<br />combination<br />Pa<br />r<br />ad<br />I<br />gma<br />t<br />I<br />c<br />In a syntagmatic relationship, the meaning of words & objects is shaped by their linear/ horizontal relationship with other words/objects around them. In visual media, this links to composition, iconography, genre and mise en scene. <br />In their paradigmatic relationship, the meaning of words & objects is shaped by the category they belong to and other signifiers that could take their place.<br />In visual media, there are links to iconography and genre.<br />substitution<br />
5. 5. How do paradigmatic and syntagmatic associations work here?<br />Discuss denotation and connotation – what are the signifiers and signified?<br />Find other examples in advertising and other media texts.<br />If you’re struggling with this concept, think about what you would normally associate <br />with the hook. What is the effect of substituting the head?<br />This substitution or intrusion of another generic category is a ‘shock’ or subversive<br />paradigmatic signifier <br />
6. 6. The process of creating meaning involves a complex interplay of encoding and decoding between producer and audience<br />The surface meaning and the ‘deep’ meaning is often hard to comprehend.<br />Media images play with these ideas of meaning as being a two-way process.<br />Unlike art – which often revels in ambiguity and numerous meanings (polysemy), media images are often manipulated to project a specific meaning (dominant reading)<br />Anchorage pins down meaning <br />Renee Magritte<br />
7. 7. Propaganda<br />
8. 8. Sometimes anchorage – the use of captions for example – can be subversive. It pins down meaning in a humorous, satirical way. <br />Private Eye deliberately uses oppositional readings to subvert meaning (turn it on its head). <br />This is for satirical purposes – to make fun of politicians and those in power.<br />It’s a form of anti-propaganda <br />
9. 9. Indexical Iconic Symbolic Representation<br />Iconic representation - here the car is an image which directly resembles the real thing <br />Indexical representation – the image suggests the presence of a car<br />Symbolic – a sign that bears no obvious relation to the thing that is signified<br />
10. 10. Symbol/symbolic: a mode in which the signifier does not resemble the signified but which is fundamentally arbitrary or purely conventional - so that the relationship must be learnt: e.g. language in general (plus specific languages, alphabetical letters, punctuation marks, words, phrases and sentences), numbers, morse code, traffic lights, national flags<br />Icon/iconic: a mode in which the signifier is perceived as resembling or imitating the signified (recognizably looking, sounding, feeling, tasting or smelling like it) - being similar in possessing some of its qualities: e.g. a portrait, a cartoon, a scale-model, onomatopoeia, metaphors, 'realistic' sounds in 'programme music', sound effects in radio drama, a dubbed film soundtrack, imitative gestures<br />Index/indexical: a mode in which the signifier is not arbitrary but is directly connected in some way (physically or causally) to the signified - this link can be observed or inferred: e.g. 'natural signs' (smoke, thunder, footprints, echoes, non-synthetic odours and flavours), medical symptoms (pain, a rash, pulse-rate), measuring instruments (weathercock, thermometer, clock, spirit-level), 'signals' (a knock on a door, a phone ringing), pointers (a pointing 'index' finger, a directional signpost), recordings (a photograph, a film, video or television shot, an audio-recorded voice), personal 'trademarks' (handwriting, catchphrase) and indexical words ('that', 'this', 'here', 'there').<br />
11. 11. Photo by <br />Helmut Newton<br />
12. 12. Symbolic codes work together in strange ways in this advert.<br />None of the signifiers have any relation to ‘reality’ as we know it<br />
13. 13. The following slide contains a range of iconic and symbolic signifiers.<br />The anchorage is totally oppositional and subversive but highly entertaining<br />
14. 14.
15. 15. How do paradigmatic and syntagmatic associations work in this advert?<br />Discuss denotation and connotation – what are the signifiers and signified?<br />What are the indexical, symbolic and iconic signs here?<br />
16. 16. There’s more here:<br />http://www.slideshare.net/shawncalvert/intro-to-graphic-design-week-3-sign-symbol-logo-presentation<br />http://www.slideshare.net/stephen.cox/semiotics-in-10-minutes<br />
17. 17. Now - Explain it all again<br />Or better still- find a poster, magazine cover or print advert and do a semiotic radial analysis<br />Powerpoint/ Slideshares welcome<br />