A2 Media Studies 3rd October 2011 Learning Outcomes Understand how semiotic theory can be applied to Representation – examine Iconography Connotation & denotation iconic and indexical signifiers Paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships Iconic, indexical & symbolic signifiers Connotation & denotation KEY TERMS FOR THIS LESSON
DENOTATION & CONNOTATION Roland Barthes – semiology- the study of signs and their relationship to meaning Ferdinand Saussure – lingusitic structuralism Rose Is just a word The reader shapes or decodes the meaning Rose denotes a red sweet-smelling flower Rose CONNOTES (has connotations of) love, passion & romance
PARADIGMATIC & SYNTAGMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SIGNIFIERS Vertical or horizontal relations between words/ objects to create meaning syntagmatic Pa rAd I gma t I c IN THE PARADIGM MODEL we can DEFINE SOMETHING BY WHAT IT IS NOT –i.e. dog is NOT A LION, TIGER, WOMAN ETC This is called absence theory The dog bites the man Lion Tiger Woman MEDIA MEANING IS CAREFULLY AND DELIBERATELY CONSTRUCTED
PARADIGMATIC & SYNTAGMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN SIGNIFIERS Vertical or horizontal relations between words/ objects to create meaning syntagmatic combination Pa r ad I gma t I c 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. 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. In visual media, there are links to iconography and genre. substitution
How do paradigmatic and syntagmatic associations work here? Discuss denotation and connotation – what are the signifiers and signified? Find other examples in advertising and other media texts. If you’re struggling with this concept, think about what you would normally associate with the hook. What is the effect of substituting the head? This substitution or intrusion of another generic category is a ‘shock’ or subversive paradigmatic signifier
The process of creating meaning involves a complex interplay of encoding and decoding between producer and audience The surface meaning and the ‘deep’ meaning is often hard to comprehend. Media images play with these ideas of meaning as being a two-way process. Unlike art – which often revels in ambiguity and numerous meanings (polysemy), media images are often manipulated to project a specific meaning (dominant reading) Anchorage pins down meaning Renee Magritte
Sometimes anchorage – the use of captions for example – can be subversive. It pins down meaning in a humorous, satirical way. Private Eye deliberately uses oppositional readings to subvert meaning (turn it on its head). This is for satirical purposes – to make fun of politicians and those in power. It’s a form of anti-propaganda
Indexical Iconic Symbolic Representation Iconic representation - here the car is an image which directly resembles the real thing Indexical representation – the image suggests the presence of a car Symbolic – a sign that bears no obvious relation to the thing that is signified
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 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 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').
How do paradigmatic and syntagmatic associations work in this advert? Discuss denotation and connotation – what are the signifiers and signified? What are the indexical, symbolic and iconic signs here?
There’s more here: http://www.slideshare.net/shawncalvert/intro-to-graphic-design-week-3-sign-symbol-logo-presentation http://www.slideshare.net/stephen.cox/semiotics-in-10-minutes
Now - Explain it all again Or better still- find a poster, magazine cover or print advert and do a semiotic radial analysis Powerpoint/ Slideshares welcome