Class Notes (810,852)
Canada (494,289)
Anthropology (1,637)
ANT100Y1 (945)
Shawn Lehman (274)

ANT100Y1 January 26 Notes.doc

5 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Shawn Lehman

Signifying Reality - How Signs Construct the World Last time was Language, Culture, Prejudice • Nature vs . Nurture? • Adaptation. • Human universals and divisions • Prejudice: racism, ethnocentrism • Anthropology and imperialism: history • (not done: Anthropology and ethnocentrism; cultural relativism) Signifying Reality: How Signs Construct the World • Signification: making sense, making signs • Linguistic and non-linguistic signs o Linguistic signs: every word, language is a sign system • The nature of signs: o Signifier and signified o Symbols, icon, index o Denotation and connotation • How signs "construct" reality • How we construct our self Homo sapiens - "human that knows" • Knowing: making sense (reflecting, representing) • To make sense = to signify o [sign-ify] • Study of signs (signifying): semiotics • Study of language: linguistics • Linguistics is part of semiotics Semiotics is the study of : • Language (linguistics) • Other signs (semiotics proper) A Classic ("Saussurean") View of Signification Ferdinand de Saussure, 1857-1913 o Swiss scholar, he never published anything. His students were writing down every word he said, writing the book to general semiotics • "signifier" and "signified" • Example: Winding road sign (Signifier + Signified) o Physical object is the signifier, the metal plate o The concept or notion of the winding road is the signified. • Signifier + Signified = Sign (must include both!!) Three kinds of sign • Symbol • Icon • Index Icon • Icons share some of their physical form (shape, sound, etc.) with the referent o Icons are a physical manifestation of a person, and it forms an icon • Two icons: Picture of a TA, and a warning sign of moose Index • Indexes do not share any of their form with the referent ... o We cannot say that the moose scat is the moose itself. This is an indication of the form. • … they don't sound / look "the same" as the referent … o The excrement does not look like a moose… but it indicates the moose • … yet they "indicate" what they refer to • Two indexes: Poison and moose scat (excrement) Symbol: arbitrary • Symbols have arbitrary relation to signified ("referent") o Connected only via the system of signification (e.g. language) • Arbitrary is opposite of "motivated" o Motivated: icons and indexes • Two symbols: Flag of St.George and barber pole Most words are arbitrary (symbols) • Cat, Chat, etc… no reason for it to be a cat • Happy - same as cat, no reason for it • Scrambled • Totally • But some words are not symbols: moo, oink, splash, scratch o These are onomatopoeia o Are onomatopoeia symbols, icons, or indexes? o These are icons, they represent the sound, but they do represent an index of the object the sound is associated with. Examples (from the online book) • Telephone icon • Airplane icon for "airplane"; index for "airport" (actually two different signs) • Crescent moon star symbol ("Islam") • Yin-Yang index ("Tao") • Turn icon (turn as indicated, "back") • Windows icon, indexic
More Less

Related notes for ANT100Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.