Language and Media EXAM review sheet
Saturday, December 7 2013h
@ 2pm—4:30pm (Room SW143)
Part 2: Short answer, no more than 1 single handwritten page (or 2 pages double spaced) in an exam booklet. Plan to write
complete sentences in paragraph form. Point form answers do not score full points.
1. Based on advertising image(s) provided in the exam, explain Roland Barthes’ concepts of denotation, connocation,
anchorage and relay. Sum up with an explanation of why these are useful concepts to understand in the study of media.
Understandably, media studies are an interdisciplinary field built from theories. Humanities, Social Science,
Psychology and all kinds of theoretical base notions sum up media as a critical field of study. A great portion of
media understanding is subjective; strongly based on perspectives and personal accounts. More so, media
understanding varies from culture to culture—our understanding of what is media and how it works is not the
same as thoughts from people in se, China. Barthes’ concept of denotation, connotation and anchorage is
mandatory in this field, for the simple fact that it encourages the examination of media as a whole. For instance,
any of Fraud’s theories can be viewed different per eye. It’s a matter of examining the denotation—what Fraud
literally meant—versus analyzing the connotation of it all. Taking your own understanding of the matter.
Caption: Caption serves a general function. They “anchor” the meaning of an image. Without a caption, a
picture might be read in many different ways. The reading of a caption might even overspell, any specific
readings at all, leaving the image with either any meaning or no particular meaning. Barthes claimed that
captions are pervasive and influential largely because we would be traumatized by images with no directed
meaning imposed on them
Anchorage: A couple of text that provides the link between the image and its context. The text provides
relevance to the reader
Relay: Is a reciprocal relation between text and pictures, in that each contributes its own part of the overall
Signified: (according to Barthes) the concept associated with a particular signifier. Together, signifier and
signifier make up a sign. Signified is accordingly a broad term for meaning, within which a number of more
precise distinctions are drawn in semantics and pragmatics.
Denotation: Images may be recognized because of visual likeness. Visual images is ionic, in consisting of signs
that visually resemble what they mean.
Connotation: vary to some extent from interpreter to interpreter and from case to case. It depends on where you
look from when what beliefs attitude in mind.
2. Apply the sociolinguistic model of personal narratives provided by Labov and Waletzky (p.101) to a short first person
narrative provided at the exam. (The narrative chosen will be selected from p. 162). Analyze the narrative and sum up
with an explanation why you think this is a useful concept to understand.
A “fully formed” narrative is nevertheless generally described, according to this model, as one, which has evidence of
all six schemas in the order presented above. The schemas provides a way of linking formal evidence in the narration
Schema or stage Function
Abstract Signals what the story is about
Orientation Provides the who? What? When? And where? Of the story: usually descriptive
Complicating Action Provides the what happened? Part of the story and is the core narrative category
Evaluation Provides the so what? Element highlights what is interesting to narrator or addressee: reveals how
participants in the story felt
Resolution Provides the “what finally happened?”
Coda Signals the end of the story and may be in the form of a moral or lesson Analyze the narrative:
(1) Tsunami tragedy: your emails
I went to Pondicherry, on the coast with my wife and two sons for the weekend. I was playing in the sea
with my sons when we first noticed the water coming in higher than usual. I wasn’t alarmed as the sea was
so clan that day. As the seconds passed, we saw the waves picking up momentum. By that time, my boys
and I were walking back. When I turned and saw the waves gaining speed and height, I knew there was
something wrong. I just screamed at my sons to run. We saw another couple by the beach taking
photographs and they were much slower in reacting. As we ran into the dining area of the resort the water
had climbed to a height of 8—10 feet and was coming on like a wall. I shouted at the restaurant manager
that the sea was coming in and ran to the first floor. From there, I saw the sea crash into the restaurant. I ran
to our room and pulled my wife out. Just then we saw the water had come around the resort and we were
surrounded. Just as I was expecting the water to crash int