In media studies, the word ‘text’ is used to describe any media product such as TV programmes, photographs, films , either on video or in the cinema , newspaper articles , radio programmes , advertisements, video games or web pages. ‘Text’ are therefore the main point of our study in understanding how media languages create meaning. * One of the keys to understanding the meanings in the texts in the use of codes. CODES:
* Rules or conventions by which signs are put together to create meanings. * The English language itself is a set of codes letters made up into words, words made up into sentences and sentences made up into paragraphs. Just as we learn to read the letters , words and sentences , so to we learn to ‘read’ media codes and languages. We learn that sounds or images can be put together in particular sequences, working as codes to give particular meanings. * Just as there are great variety in the forms and style media texts, so the codes to construct meanings are varied and frequency depend upon the form of media text. * In most cases the text will use variety of codes- visual, audio and written – that ‘fit’ together in a certain way to create a particular meaning. EXAMPLE: TRIBE ADVERTISEMNET
The text is print-based but contains visual and written codes. Its exact meaning may be difficult to ‘fix’ except to say that it is an advertisement and trying to ‘sell’ a product, a particular brand of cologne. In this adut additional meaning is given through the use of color codes and the written text at the bottom of the advert. Some advert do not even seem to be trying to sell a specific product but are, presumable, just trying to make us aware of a particular company or name, for example, the united color of Benetton Campaign. * One of the key theoretical tools to assist in the process of deconstruction of the tribe advertists its component parts is semiology or as it is often called semiotics. SEMIOTICS:
* Means ‘sign’ is derived from a Greek word ‘SEMEION’. * Semiology is an attempt to create a science of the study of sign systems and their role in the reconstruction of meaning in the media text. * Semiology concentrates primarily on the text itself and the signs and codes that are contained within it. Although all interest in signs and the way they communicate has a long history, modern semiologist analysis can be said to have began by two men. * Swiss Linguist Ferdinand de Saunders (1857-1913) and
* American Philosopher Charles Saunders Pierce (1839-1914) Saussure’s division of the sign into two components, the signifier or “sound image” and the signified or concept and his suggestions that the relationship between signifier and signified is arbitrary were of crucial importance for the development of semiology. Peirce, on the other hand, focused on three aspects of signs-their iconic, idexical and symbolic dimension. | ICON| INDEX| SYMBOL|
SIGNIFY BY| Resemblance| Casual Connections| Conventions| EXAMPLES| Pictures/ Statues| Smoke, Fire, Symptoms/ disease | Words, numbers, flags| PROCESS| Can see| Canfigineant| Must Learn
THREE ASPECTS OF SIGN:
Semiology has been applied with interesting result to films, theatre, medicine, architecture, zoology and a host of other areas that involve or are concerned with communication and the transfer of information. Peirce argued that interprets had to supply part of the meaning sign. He wrote that a ‘sign’ is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. This is different from Saussure’s ideas about how signs function. Peirce considered semiotics important because “This universe is prefused with signs, if it is not composer exclusively of signs.” THE PROBLEM OF MEANING:
* Our basic concern will always be how meaning is generated and conveyed, with particular reference to the films and television program that will be examined. * But how is the meaning generated?
* The essential breakthrough of semiology is to take linguistics as a model and apply linguistics concepts to other phenomena-text-and not just to language itself. * In fact we treat tents as being like language in that relationships are all important and not things per se. To quote: Jonathan Cullers
The notion that linguistics might be useful in studying other cultural phenomena is based on two fundamental insights: first, that social and cultural phenomenon is simply not material objects or events but objects or events, meanings and hence essence but are defined by a network of relations. (1976:4) Signs and relations- They are two of the notions of semiological analysis In semiological analysis we make an arbitrary and temporary separation of content and form and focus our attention on the system of signs that makeup a text.