Midterm + Exam Q&A Terms and ANSWERS for Midterm AND the final EXAM! Overall grade = 85%

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Communication, Culture and Technology
Elizabeth Peden

CCT210 Midterm Semiotics: A science that studies signs and their uses in representation. - Semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign Umberto Eco - Involves the study not only of what we refer to as signs in everyday speech, but of anything which stands for something else. Sign: Something that stands for something or someone else in some capacity. - take the form of words, images, sounds, odours, flavours, acts or objects - have no intrinsic meaning and become signs only when we invest them with meaning Ferdinand de Saussure: - uses a two part model - defined a sign as being composed of: o Signifier: the form which the sign takes (the outer image) o Signified: the concept it represents (the meaning behind it) - the sign is the whole that results from the association of the signifier with the signified - i.e. Signifier: the word open Signified: the concept of romance and love - the value of a sign is determined by the relationships between the sign and other signs within the system as a whole - a sign has no absolute value independent of the context o i.e. a cat is not a dog/ is not a bird Arbitrariness: definition is different for every person - not all signifying systems are socially or historically arbitrary o language o red for traffic light - the sign is arbitrary a priori (before the experience) but ceases to be arbitrary a posteriori (after the experience) o after the sign has come into historical existence it cannot be arbitrarily changed Charles Sanders Peirce: - 3 part model o The Representamen the form which the sign takes (not necessarily material) = to Saussures signifier o An Interpretant not an interpreter but rather the sense made of the sign = to Saussures signified o An Object to which the sign refers or attempts to accomplish (not in Saussures model) Ideology: the shared set of values and beliefs that exist within a given society and through which we live our lives 4 paradigm shifts in representation: - from pictographic to alphabetic writing - movable type technology - advancements in electronic technology - establishing a world-wide civilization Pop Culture - the invention of writing - the spread of literacy - the immergence of mass media - the convergence/diffusion of electronic mass media - Neomania : constant craving for new forms of entertainment and goods - Juvenilization: the tendency for people to think of themselves as forever young and attractive Myths: - can be seen as extended metaphors - helps us make sense of our experiences within our culture - they express and serve to organize shared ways of conceptualizing something within a culture - serve the ideological function of naturalization o to naturalize the cultural to make dominant cultural and historical values, attitudes and beliefs seem natural, normal, obvious common-sense - myths can function to hide the ideological function of signs and codes At the denotative level this is a photograph of the movie star Marilyn Monroe. At a connotative level we associate this photograph with Marilyn Monroe's star qualities of glamour, sexuality, beauty - if this is an early photograph - but also with her depression, drug-taking and untimely death if it is one of her last photographs. At a mythic level we understand this sign as activating the myth of Hollywood: the dream factory that produces glamour in the form of the stars it constructs, but also the dream machine that can crush them - all with a view to profit and expediency.Metaphor is the application of a name or descriptive term or phrase to an o
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