Definitions and Key Terms

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

Definitions and Key Terms Knowledge information Epistemology – the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. Empirical Science is divided into two branches: Natural Sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and physics Social Sciences, such as anthropology, economics, and sociology Humanities include philosophy, literature, and the visual and performing arts. etymology – the study of word origins Empirical (thinking) - practical; based on experience Speculative (thinking) – theoretical Representation: text, image, and sound. “to take or fill place of”. To symbolize (something abstract or intangible, as a quality, concept, etc.) to stand in the place of; to signify, denote To act as a symbolic sign or substitute for (a person or thing); to symbolize, stand for, embody. Representation refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us. We use words to understand, describe and define the world as we see it, and we also use images in the same way. This process of meaning-making through representation takes place through systems such as language that are structured according to rules and conventions. A language has a set of rules about how to express and interpret meaning. So do the symbols of representation used in painting, drawing, photography, cinema, television, and digital media. Although these systems of representation are not languages, they are in some ways like language systems and can therefore be analyzed through methods borrowed from linguistics and semiotics. Ideology sets of ideas which give some account of the social world, usually a partial and selective one; the relationship of these ideas or values to the ways in which power is distributed socially; the way that such values are usually posed as natural, obvious, and common sense Hegemony most often refers to one nation’s rule or dominance over another. Semiotics = the study of signs. A way to understand culture as if it were a language. ethos meant the degree of credibility or trustworthiness that authors establish with the audience through their writing Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. Commodity Fetishism: A commodity appears at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties (163) Fetishism in anthropology refers to the primitive belief that godly powers can inhere in inanimate things (e.g., in totems) (163) This effect is caused by the fact that, in a capitalist society, the real producers of commodities remain largely invisible. We only approach their products through the relations which the act of exchange establishes between the products (165). We access the products of the proletariat through the exchange of money with t
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