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MGMA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Luddite, Intertextuality, Semiotics

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Sam J Maglio
Study Guide

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Chapter 4- Media Content: Studying the Making of Meaning
Lec 4:
-Luddite: anti technology, followers of a man named Ned Lud, people who were
put out of work by the automation of their jobs in the lat 1800s, they stormed
factories and smashed the machines, they challenged the way in which technology
was being implemented in the days of the technological revolution, they ultimately
Representation and Signification
Representation: the act of encoding ideas into words, paintings, sculptures, film, plays,
TV programs, and any other medium of communication.
Representations are, to a large extent, simplifications and interpretations of the
objects and events they describe
A more rigorous way of thinking about representation is as a process of
Signification: using signs to make meaning
Sign: anything with meaning: a word, an image a sound, a painting, even things
themselves life dark clouds on the horizon.
Ferdinand de Saussure- sometimes considered the founder of semiotics or the science
of signs- posited that signs are composed of 2 elements:
1. The Signifier: the thing that we see, hear, or feel.
2. The Signified: the idea or mental concept we draw from those signifiers.
The process of Signification is a process of making meaning
C.S. Peirce categorized signs into 3 different types:
1. An Icon: looks like the object it describes. (ex. Maps, Photographs)
2. An Index: is related to the object it represents. (ex. Smoke is an index of fire)
3. A Symbol: a sign that bears no direct resemblance to what is signifies. (ex.
Words, the image of an apple as a symbol of the Apple brand)
Intertextuality, Polysemy, and the Indeterminacy of Representation
Indeterminacy of representation: the idea that a sign can represent or signify more
than one thing
Sigs do ot eist i isolatio, the are either ipliitl or epliitl part of larger tets
or sets of signs and symbols (ex. The sound of rain is used to set a mood is
advertisements, TV shows, and film)
The meaning of these signs is itself given firm by its relation to other signs in the
context of a larger symbolic system
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