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COMM 1101 Exam Prep: Midterm

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Carleton University
Communication Studies
COMM 1101
Chris Russill

KEY TERMS: MIDTERM LECTURE 2 Representation: the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us (language) Semiotics: the study of signs Sign: SIGN = SIGNIFIER + SIGNIFIED; understand world through signs Polysemy: Many signs; the capacity a sign has to have multiple meanings Signifier: what is said, shown, or heard Signified: meaning of what is said, shown, or heard Indeterminacy of Representation: not determined in events, it depends on interpretation and context (Polysemy); meaning not determined immediately Denotation: the literal or explicit meaning of a sign Connotation: all the historical, cultural, social meanings that are added to the literal meaning by the interpreter Ideology: the broad but indispensable shared sets of values and beliefs through which individuals live out their complex relations in a range of social networks; media texts produced with ideologies Structuralism: discover patterns/structures that shape texts and genres, tries to uncover how a media text is structured Charles Sanders Pierce: studied signs and their use in media analysis Roland Barthes: contributed to semiotics, came up with structuralism (assignment 1) Ferdinand de Saussure: studied signs and their use in media analysis Citizen Journalism: seeking to find the unbiased truth and help to progress a legitimate new media outlet - you can take a picture of something and write about it, and have it seen/read by millions of people Image Conventions: technical (shutter speed), aesthetic (colour), social (framing) aspects of taking a photograph with a camera Social Contexts of Media Use: juxtapositions, blog or book, TV news story or museum, would you interpret it the same way as someone from another country would? LECTURE 3 Anti-Environment: being so submersed in your environment you don’t realize what’s going on around you until you take a critical look; fish don’t realize they’re submersed in water because they’re used to it Active Audience: an audience that makes an interpretation of a media text, has a social context for that interpretation, and participates in collective action Hypodermic Needle Model: media shoots its effects into unsuspecting victims (propaganda) Limited Effects Model: media affects some people, but not others; people tend to expose themselves to media they’re familiar with and contain messages that reflect attitudes they already have Uses and Gratification Model: trying to resolve a problem of the passive audience; use is the key; studies how and why people use media to gratify certain needs, not how people were affected or used by media Agenda Setting: when people focus attention on specific issues, they find out what will be topics of discussion in society; media makes agenda for what gets discussed and what doesn’t get discussed Cultivation Effect: the more time you spend with media, absorbing the views, the more likely your views of social reality will be influenced by this view – “mean-world syndrome” Herbert Blumer: hypothermic needle model; wanted to find effects on media on children because there was a fear that children needed to be saved from these influences because they were getting injections of bad media George Gerber: cultivation effect; stu
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