Media, Information and Technoculture 3214F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Ma Vie En Rose, French Colonial Empire, Shooting People

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MIT 1200 Lecture March 16, 2011
Semiotics II
Ma Vie en Rose
-Ludovig uses signs that construct a female gender
-hair, makeup, dress, etc.
-Myth is a type of speech. It is not defined by the object of its message, but by the way
it utters its message; myth is a mode of signification, a form.
-Barthes is trying to account for the way social meaning gets stuck to raw material. Why
does lipstick (sometimes made out of lead, fish scales) become a marker for social
meanings?
-Trying to figure out the connotative level of meaning.
Tree
-Drawn by a clumsy child
-A child too poor to buy colour crayons
-Tree, I come to thee. Console me for being only me.
-Minou Drouet
-Barthes starts in the world of linguistic messages.
-He dismisses the differences between types of signs. He wants to talk about more than
just language. Myth can be a painting, speech, diagram, a cup, etc.
-Mythology can be understood through semiotics; it is a study of ideas-in-forms
-p.112 footnote: You don’t see many signs on the sea, but on the beach there are tons:
bathing suits, physical signs, flipflops, etc.
Ferdinand de Saussure
-Taught a course in university called General Linguistics that he knew nothing about. He
discovered that language is a science.
-In his book on the course of General Linguistics:
-Semiotics postulates a relation between three terms: the signifier, the signified, and the
sign (the latter being the associative total of the first two terms)
-Barthes example: Roses.
- Signifier: roses, carrier of meaning, the word. Signified: what I mean when I do
that; passionate love. The content.
Sign
Signified Signifier
“the mental concept” “the acoustic image”
small, fury, four legged
creature C-A-T
-
-Arbitrary relationship depending on where you are
-Cats are also called chats, depending on where you live/what language you speak
-Semiotics bare no relationship to things in the world
-The thing that language is trying to point to is somehow severed: cats don’t know that
they are cats.
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