define Semiotics


Analysis 2- Semiotics
Select a \”text\” related to a current news story (the presidential election, the Orlando shooting, etc) and submit a semiotic analysis of the text. How does the text make meaning? What signs/codes are the in the text? What are the denotations? the connotations? Does the text use metaphor? What cultural code systems does the text appeal to? How do the patterns of signification in the text articulate social codes about things such as power, race, class, gender, respect, or authority?

Remember that semiotics is a way to explain how things mean, not what they mean. Don\’t just provide a laundry list of things you notice about the ad. Use the terminology and principles from Chapter 5 (Avoid saying things like “the text gives the viewers meanings,” “the text tells us,” “the text implies,” “the producer wants the reader to believe,” “the text makes the reader want x,” or other colloquial language for explaining what’s going on. Use semiotics!) Write your analysis in the form of an short essay, in a clear and interesting way. There is no one correct way of explaining the systems of meaning-making in the text; writing a good analysis involves some imagination as well as accuracy. Keep it short, but spend some time working on it. It will be easy to fill up a page or two with random comments about your selected text, but difficult to provide comments that are illuminating, precise, and thorough.

A good way to begin your analysis is to try to reconstruct what happens when you first viewed at the text. What did you notice first? Why did it grab your attention? What did it make you think of? Do you notice anything else after looking at the text for a while? What happened when you read the written copy — did it, perhaps, change your understanding of the images? Once you\’ve done that, you can often identify cultural codes in the text by using substitution: what would happen if the text used an image/ spokesperson/ etc. that was the opposite sex? A different race or age? What if the background were different? Answering questions like these helps develop an understanding of the key signifying elements of the text and the ways that they relate.

Remember that semioticians view almost any communication as a text so be thoughtful in your selection. It will be difficult to analyze a 1-hour news program for this assignment- you would be writing a book! find a text that is manageable- a news/video clip, a meme going around facebook, an ad or campaign pamphlet.

Please include the image or a link to the video in the essay.


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