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Media theory Structural theory

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									Media theory: Structural theory

AO1: knowledge and understanding of media concepts,
           contexts and critical debates
 AO4: demonstrate the ability to undertake, apply and
           present appropriate research
Semiotics
 Semiotics is the study of codes or languages and the signs
  from which they are made, such as:
   Words
   Written
   Physical (nodding)


 Clothes – sign/signifier – signified  viewer
Semiotics and the main men...
Semiotics & Saussure (1983)
Suggests there are three levels that we READ media texts:
1. Syntactical level (basic denotations)
2. Representational (conveyed in text)
3. Symbolic (hidden cultural or symbolic meanings)


Denotations  Connotations
Semiotics & Barthes (1967)
Development of Saussure’s idea to analyse the media in relation
 to culture.

 He suggests that our understanding of many media texts rests
  not on just what the text portrays but on the texts’
  relationship to frequently told stories or myths in our
  culture.
 Many media texts convey or tap into popular myths.
Barthes & Cinderella!
Romantic Comedy = Cinderella myth

                  Girl (poor/oppressed/bored)
                               
            Rescued from her miserable life (or poverty)
                                 
                by the love of a rich, handsome man.
Cultural meaning of Cinderella = ideologies (cultural meaning)
 conveyed are that men are active and women are passive, that
 men are economically powerful providers and a woman’s key
 role is to be sexually alluring.
Semiotics & Fiske (1982)
 Warns that there is a tendency to read connotations as if they
 were self-evident truths – as if they were denotations.

 HOWEVER – connotations are codes that are particular to
 specific cultures.
                              
 As a result audiences in different cultures may interpret
 media texts different. Some media texts attempt to limit the
 interpretations of media texts
  E.G. Newspapers – photographs anchored by captions.
Understanding signs

There are many different types of signs, but each has two
  parts:

1.   The signifier

2.   The signified
 An iconic sign has a signifier that bears a close relationship to
  the object being signified.
   E.G. A photograph of a person has a close relationship to the person
    whom it signifies.
 An indexical sign assumes a relationship between the signifier
  and the signified, so that when we see one, we expect the other.
   E.G. Smoke signifies fire
 A symbolic sign has no obvious relationship between the
  signifier and the signified.
   E.G. Red for hot on a tap, blue for a boy, a dove for peace
A grade: Confident and insightful analysis and evaluation demonstrating
  sophisticated knowledge and understanding of differing media
  representations, key concepts and wider context. Writing will be well
  structured, articulate and engaged.

B grade: Proficient analysis and evaluation, demonstrating good knowledge and
  understanding of differing media representations, key concepts and
  wider concepts. Writing is well written and clearly expressed.

C grade: Sound analysis and evaluation demonstrating adequate knowledge and
  understanding of differing media representations, with reference to key
  concepts and wider contexts. Writing is reasonably well written.

D grade: Satisfactory analysis and evaluation demonstrating some adequate
  knowledge and understanding of differing media representations, with
  basic reference to key concepts and wider contexts. Writing will be
  satisfactory and poorly structured.

E grade: Basic analysis demonstrating some knowledge and understanding of
   media representations. Little or no reference to key concepts and wider
   contexts. Meaning may be obscured by weakness in written communication.

								
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