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University of Toronto Mississauga
Communication, Culture and Technology
Elizabeth Peden

Definitions: Function ranking: when men and women were portrayed in a collaborative activity, the male was usually cast in the role of executor of the task while the female was cast in a secondary or supporting role. When the woman executed a traditionally ‘feminine’ task (cleaning, cooking), the man accompanying her usually had no role at all. Again Goffman found exceptions that proved the rule: if a man was the executor of a traditionally feminine task, he was generally presented as ludicrous and child-like (‘not a real man’). x=y - One of the three processes when we are interpreting a text. - x= the text. It is the signifier. - y= the meaning generated through internal/external signification 意意 process. It is the signified. - Audiences must have knowledge of the relationship and cultural codes between the two in order to understand how text(x) generates its meaning(y) through internal/external signification processes. - It is a linear analysis. The text(x) aims to report the content(y) straight forward. - E.g. newspaper(x) tells the scores of a game(y), result of election(y). Advertising Textuality p.188-192 - “Advertising textuality” is the signification systems that are built into brand names and logos are transferred creatively to ad texts. - It can be defined as the construction of advertisements and commercials on specific signification systems built intentionally into products. - There are 5 common textual strategies used to bring out such system: the use of jingles 叮叮叮 for memory, music genres 叮叮叮叮 to emphasize lifestyle, the creation of fictitious 叮叮叮characters to assign a visual portraiture, using famous personages to support, creating ad and commercials to represent the product’s signification system. - Danesi gave 2 examples of ads- Miller beer and Versus cologne by Versace. The Miller beer’s signification system is beer = “male bonding”, “interest in sports”, “interest in females”, etc. The system of Versus cologne ad creates ambiguous sexual connotations, whether the object of the men’s desire is female sexuality or homosexuality. - Barthes referred it as “anchorage”, the ability of certain ads to create various equally probable subtexts. - Advertising textuality is the construction of ads/commercials on the basis of specific signification systems built into products. This is done by: jingles (for memory); use of certain music genres for lifestyle emphasis (classical = high-class aspirations); creation of fictitious characters for a visual portraiture (Ronald McDonald, Mr.Clean); use of famous personas (celebs, sport figures); use of narrative ads/commercials to rep the product’s signification system (Beer commercials: young man, woman catches his eye, voice-over, commercial ends in a man-law phrase, etc) Alpha/Beta - It is not just the content or use of the innovation, but the chg in interpersonal dynamics that the innovation brings with it. - Alpha and Beta are the two states happen in our brain. - Alpha state : is using right side of the brain. - It is not processing and not thinking critically. - E.g. watching TV. After 30 seconds of TV watching, the brain is in alpha state. However, usually with your eyes open, you are not in an alpha state, only for this case. - Beta state: is using left side of the brain. - It is receiving info, thinking critically, highly tune and focus. - E.g. reading. The mind is receiving info, making connections and joining up thoughts. Short answer: 2. With reference to Cartesian dualism, disembodiment and re-embodiment, discuss how signifying orders have changed in the virtual world. 2. Explain the concepts of disembodiment and re-embodiment. Your answer must include reference to Cartesian dualism. Cartesian ‘dualism’ is the view that the body and the mind are separate entities. Computers allow users to move and react in a computer-simulated environment, manipulating virtual objects in place of real objects. Constant engagement in such environments is conditioning people more and more to perceive the body as separable from the mind. Disembodiment: now a days, computers and internet feel like your mind is working with the machine. Computers let you move and act in a simulated environment. - Constant exposure to “virtual realities” in cyberspace is leading to a modern form of Cartesian “dualism”, the view that the body and the mind are separate entities. E.g. computers allow users to move and react in a computer-simulated 意意 environment. Such environment is conditioning 意意.意意 ppl to recognize the body as separable from the mind, called “disembodiment 意意意意 process”. - As virtual realities become more and more widespread, it will further entrench the process of disembodiment - The concepts of re-embodiment are opposite from disembodiment. - Danesi believes the technology will bring a reintegration 叮叮叮叮 of the body and the mind, called “re-embodiment”. Re-embodiment engages ppl in face-to-face contact. This process is a result of McLuhan’s “re-tribalization”. - Re-tribalization involves re-embodiment, they need each other. Humans have always lived in groups and the tribe remains collectivity. Even though ppl today see themselves as interconnected to world events, they still have a strong desire to live in the “real” world. - This is the paradox of everyday life in the Digital Galaxy; it causes both “globalism” and “tribalism” at once. 5. Discuss how signifying orders have changed in the virtual world. Semiotically speaking, the convergence of media and the constant exposure to cyberspace mediation will eventually reshape the world’s signifying orders, by turning upside down traditional ideas of human interaction, communication, representation, physical place, textuality, and even reality. In cyber space, signifieds float around with no material world in which to exist. They are ‘virtual signifieds’ transmitted by a host of multimedia signifiers. What is emerging is a ‘cybersystem’ without the usual constraints that the traditional print systems impose on representation and communication. According to Baudrillard, digital media have put people in the position of having to rebuild signifying orders from the ashes of the ‘dead signs’ of the ‘real’ world. But, as it turns out, these new signs are not that much different from the old ones So, Baudrillard predicts, in short time ‘virtual communication’ will become ‘real communication’ again, as people begin to realize that their bodies are as much a part of creating signs as their minds. Paradoxically, Baudrillard goes on to quip, the computer will engender a desire to ‘re-embody’ communication and representation. The new digital signifiers, i.e. the new modes of encoding, storing and retrieving all of these texts;. Some signification systems are still being used in media semiotics. The written word is still a foundation of signification systems. The digital media has changed our world- now we have access to so much information so quickly. The internet is intense because it is so fast. We as the viewer have more control over what we look at and what we don’t look at. You can access and deny information. Interpreting a text involves (1) assessing the text, (2) x = y relation, (3) contextual factors. Interpreting a text: (1) First we recognise a code (cultural and learned at an early age so that they seem natural- “naturalized”). Everyone must adopt codes and beliefs. We accept and adopt these codes. Every text is a bunch of codes. We put codes together in a way that helps us survive and adapt in a culture. We put them together based on what we know, but this limits analysis. (2) You must know how things relate and interact. (3) You have to navigate your way through. You have to know the code and x y context. It is all stored and sub-divided
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