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University of Toronto Mississauga
Communication, Culture and Technology
Elizabeth Peden

CCT210H5LEC1 - How meaning is built into what we see - Nike Commercial: o What are we accepting? Are we critical viewers or just passive viewers? o Selling a lifestyle not a product - What is Semiotics o Is a study of signs (gestures, objects, images, words etc.?) o Umberto Eco: o Daniel Chamber : we as human beings are driven to attach meaning to what we see  Ex: the podium. We expect the person with the most knowledge stand behind the wooden podium. • This means that we attach meaning into a podium. A signifier of knowledge, authority etc.  Everything, our gestures, words what we see and hear, we tend to want to bring meaning and understanding that is relevant to us. o Signs have no intrinsic meaning on their own. They only have meaning because we have invested meaning into them. - Signs o TWO MODELS  FERDINANDE DE SAUSSURE : • 2 part model: o Sign is composed of the signifier (form that the sign takes) o Signified is the concept we get from the signifier. • Ex: Come to a store. It says OPEN = you go in and in your mind you know that it is open for business. That is the signified that you are getting o Shopper: person reading the sign and making meaning • The sign on its own is hard to understand what it means. For example, we know what the podium means in relation to the context. The fact that the podium is in a university setting helps us understand the value of the sign. • There is no intrinsic direct or inevitable relation between the signified and the signifier. • The signifier is arbitrary that is agreed to by convention. o Ex: how do we know what to do when we get to an intersection when the light is red, we will stop. Agreed to by convention. What
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