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MGMA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Semiotics, Communication Theory, Intertextuality

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Sam J Maglio
Study Guide

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Representation and Signification
- Representation the act of putting or encoding ideas into words, paintings, sculptures,
film, or any other medium of communication
- To a large extent, it is the simplifications and interpretations of the objects and events
they describe
- The person receiving or decoding the representation with their knowledge, comes to an
understanding of what was encoded by the sender
- Signification using signs to make meaning
- Sign anything with meaning (ex. a word, image)
- Semiotics the science of signs
o Ferdinand de Saussre is considered the founder of smeiotics
- Signs composed of two element: signifier and signified
o Signifier the thing that we see, hear, or feel (ex. Image on a screen)
o Signified the idea or mental concept we draw fro signifiers (ex. The ideas in a
- The process of signification is the process of making meaning
- Signs are categorized into three different types: icon, index, and symbol
o Icon looks like the object it describes
o Index related to the object it represents (ex. Smoke is an index of fire)
o Symbol a sign that bears no direct resemblance to what is signifies (ex. Words are
Intertextuality, Polysemy, and the Indeterminacy of Representation
- Indeterminacy of representationthey can have more than 2 meanings
- Intertexuality the meaning we make of one text depending on the meanings we have
drawn from other sets of signs we have encountered
- Making meaning is an active process
- Polysemic that is haig ay eaigs
- The different types or levels of meaning drawn from such an image may be denotive or
o Denotive meaning refers to literal interpretation of sign
o Connotative meaning refers to the range of other less obvious or more subjective
meanings that may be drawn
- Polysemy and the indeterminacy of representation is concerned more with rhetoric
(how things are said) and hermeneutics (how things are interpreted) than with truth
Communication Theory as Social Theory
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