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Representation and textual analysis - Essay Example

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In fact, in contemporary studies, the ideology receives little headway in terms of historical importance. Much of the recent developments in technology and the consequent implications of mass media are credited with the invention of the celebrity culture as complemented by the metamorphosis of the public sphere, when in reality, the societies of age also exhibited the celebratory mechanisms as far back as the 18th Century. The use of the word celebrity can be traced as far back as then, finding its roots in languages other than English. Celebrite is a French iteration of the word (which when converted into English translates to either fame or celebrity) found numerous usage throughout the late 18th century (Lilti, 2008, p.55). As the usage grew, the notion of celebrity was etched in the minds of the audience as distinct from fame and reputation since the latter two were restricted to the knowledge of one’s presence amongst relatively immediate acquaintances as opposed to complete unknowns. Thus, the ideology is not restricted to modern times, granted the contemporary face of celebrity is much more fierce and enveloping in nature due to the presence of mass media and stardom. The growth of notoriety amongst people was only possible on a large scale with the advent of modern publishing and a rise in general literacy (Lilti, 2008). In addition, what is evident is that with each era the altering celebrity culture is reminiscent of the changing social beliefs and values. The concurrent discussion will consider the ideology of modern celebrity in conjunction with semiotics by analyzing the cover of an issue from the acclaimed fashion magazine Vogue. It will be seen that the success of a celebrity in respective audiences requires a textual analyst to address their “demographics and psychological needs and provide them with products that embody characteristics which match and meet them” (Gamson, 1994, p. 68). Semiotism Semiotism is a study of signs (Lidov, 1999) which includes analogies, symbols, metaphoric representations etc to relate a text with an object. It is the process of deriving meaning from textual representation which could be understood by utilizing the modern version of the explanation coined by Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure purported that signs comprised of two individual notions, the signifier which related to any representation made in any language that related to that which was signified (Lidov, 1999, p. 26). This approach was in consonance with Roland Barthes’s theory on semiotics, which also purported the use of signifiers which relate to the signified, but with the added second order sign of connotations (Redmond and Holmes, 2007). According to Barthes, the signifier denotes simple meaning with regards to that which it signifies but may also connote an ideological translation that is based on the prevalent understanding of the signifier in the particular culture (Redmond and Holmes, 2007, p. 16). For instance, a picture of a bottle of wine for the French as the signifier in essence signified an alcoholic beverage, but for the bourgeoisie also connoted a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. This identifies that the context within which the representation is made is also of critical importance in textual represent ...Show more


Representation and Textual Analysis Introduction The ideology of Celebrity extends to each individual culture in the most prevalent extension of its traditional meaning, carefully honed out by the implications of mass media. In general, celebrities usually encompass an enriched lifestyle filled with fervors of taste, importance, and desirability for their audiences, undergoing lifestyles which exist almost parallel to those of average people…
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Representation and textual analysis essay example
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