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Design and Contemporary Culture - Essay Example

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The authors also highlight the importance of ideology in creating meaning by providing channels of interpretation for individual thought processes. The authors further define representation as “the social production of meaning through sign systems”. (p. 68) 2. Media interpretation is based on a plurality of values and perspectives. O’Brien and Szeman introduce an example of a discussion of media violence in Canada to illustrate the way facts and figures can be used to support multiple or conflicting viewpoints in popular media. (pp. 69-71) As media sources form the public dialogue through which meaning is created in modern society, the authors encourage questioning the effects of power, structure, and hierarchy on values that are disseminated in popular culture. 3. Signs are “the fundamental units of communication” (p.71). O’Brien and Szeman seek to expand the concept of language from alphabetical arrangements and linguistic terminologies to incorporate the full range of images, symbols, and objects that are used to express meaning in society. This leads to the incorporation of music, fashion, and body language into a greater definition or understanding of language, that can also be related to cross-cultural differences in morals, values, and collective understanding. (p.71) 4. Structuralism and semiotics in theory. O’Brien and Szeman introduce the theoretical basis for structuralism and semiotics in linguistic analysis, stating that the implied meaning of words, signs, and language are less important than the grammatical relationships between terms and their position in hierarchies of social power that are created through personal and collective awareness of systems of meaning in social groups. (pp.71-72) 5.Sausserian Linguistics and Semiotics – a new discipline. The modern understanding of meaning in language is in debt to Ferdinand de Saussure who is credited with inventing the genre or discipline of “semiotics” that is intended to study “the life of signs within a society” in a synchronic rather than diachronic or historical model of development. (p. 73) Similar theories were advanced by C.S. Pierce in America through psychological literature. (p. 73) 6. Mythological Interpretation in Barthes’ Cultural Theory. O’Brien and Szeman discuss the work of Roland Barthes in mythological understanding to show how meaning is created socially from “connotative” values. (p.74) The symbols of mythology combine to fuse the essential values or ethos of a culture through “chain(s) of associated concepts” linking meaning, memory, and tradition, as in racial or humanistic identity structures. (p. 74) 7. Barthes’ Critique of Humanism. Barthes’ work engages mythology from the perspective of pop culture, as in the instance of “The Great Family of Man” exhibit in France in the 1960s. (p. 74) While humanism posits a natural unity of cultures and races, semiotics contextualizes this popular understanding in the context of history and difference, which suggests that the meaning derived from the symbolic patterns in the exhibit resemble the cultural understanding derived from mythology which then becomes “fact” via a shared societal acceptance of the value system. 8. ...Show more
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Your Name Here YSDN 1900 Course Director: Dr. Robert Gill Annotated Bibliography 1 (AB1) Teaching Assistant’s Name and Tutorial Section Number Here Date Submitted to TA Here O, Brien, Suzie and Szeman, Imre. Popular Culture: A User’s Guide, Second Edition…
Design and Contemporary Culture
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