Notes on Structuralism and Semiotics.docx

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Alison Hearn

WEEK 4 STRUCTURALISM AND SEMIOTICSMythologiesRoland BarthesThe Great Family of ManRoland BarthesA Course in General LinguisticsFerdinand de SaussureWhy Study the HumanitiesSean KaneChapter 6 Structuralism and PostStructuralism pg111126John StorySEMIOTICSSemiology Investigating the nature of signs and the laws governing them Language is the only human practice that can turn itself into an object of inquiryWe need to USE language to explore languageThe pursuit of language is always selfreferential Our world is thick with signs and language By naming and representing the world we add layers of meaning to it Revealing a system of distinctions categories rules and grammars through which meaning is createdSTRUCTURALISM Structuralism is concerned with the underlying relations of texts and practices It is structure that makes meaning possibleApplied Sassures theory of language and applied it to cultural systems folk tales films fashion advertising Meaning is found in the analysis of their component parts and the relationship between these parts The method is analytical not evaluative Language organizes and constructs our sense of realitythe way we conceptualize the world is ultimately dependent on the language we speakThe task of structuralism is to make explicit the rules
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