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COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA SEMIOTICS

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Martine van der Walt Ehlers

on 8 August 2016

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Transcript of COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA SEMIOTICS

WHAT IS SEMIOTICS?
Definition:
The science of signs and codes and the meanings they convey (Fourie 2009:40)
MEDIA SEMIOTICS
Media content is not reality itself, but rather a representation and imitation of reality (Fourie 2009:40)
Signs and codes are combined to in a structured way to convey specific meanings that the media wants to distribute about reality.
Media = SYMBOLIC FORM
AIM OF MEDIA SEMIOTICS = to make us think critically about the way in which the media reflect, represent and/or imitate reality with the purpose of conveying a specific meaning, usually to support an underlying IDEOLOGY (Fourie 2009: 40-41)
Code typology
There are seven types or 'groups' of codes within the code typology

1. Codes of behaviour
2. Signifying codes
3. Analogue and digital codes
4. Presentational and representational codes
5. Elaborated and restricted codes
6. Logical, aesthetic and social codes
7. Codes of content and codes of form

(Fourie 2009:58-62)
CODE
The recipe/ "technique" to combine signs to convey meaning
Meaning cannot only be created by signs or the relationship between signifier and signified.
The relationship between signs is also important in meaning-making.
CODE = relationship between signs
CODE = a group of signs and the rules for their use.

Fourie (2009:57-58)
COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA SEMIOTICS
FOUR PRINCIPLE AREAS OF STUDY IN SEMIOTICS
THE SIGN
What does a sign consist of?
Which different types of signs are there?
How are signs related to reality?
How are signs related to the users?

SIGN SYSTEMS
How signs collectively form a sign system
Examples of sign systems:
language
television
nonverbal communication
CODES
How signs/ sign systems are related to one another by means of codes.
For example, how are words related to one another in a language by means of grammatical sentences construction (codes) to form sentences
MEANING
What is meaning?
Are there different kinds of meaning?
CODES OF BEHAVIOUR
Social behaviour is codified
Based on norms, values, traditions, customs
Passed on from generation to generation, but change based on cultural, social, etc changes in.
A lack of behavioural codes will lead to chaos
Codes of behaviour also found in institutions - codes of conduct, internal policies.
SIGNIFYING CODES
Codes that are specific to a specific sign system.
Codes that are meant to fulfill a very specific communication function.
These codes have a very specific meaning.
For example, grammar (a code) will differ from language language
ANALOGUE AND DIGITAL CODES
Digital codes feature clear distinctions
Analogue codes are less clearly defined and the signs that make up these codes are constantly changing and not easy to record.
PRESENTATIONAL AND REPRESENTATIONAL CODES
Representational codes stand for something else.
They are usually symbolic and iconic.
These are codes that are created for a particular purpose; to convey or express something

Presentational codes are indexical.
They function in the present
These codes are restricted by the presence of the communicator.
ELABORATED AND RESTRICTED CODES
Restricted codes are codes that restrict actions, behaviour, etc.
These codes are generally rules and regulations.
Restricted codes determine and direct behaviour.

Elaborated codes allow for more freedom

LOGICAL, AESTHETIC AND SOCIAL CODES
Logical codes are generally related to science

Aesthetic codes are related to art and symbolic forms of expression such as media

Social codes are related to society and things inherent to different societies (clothing, food, conventions, etc).
CODES OF CONTENT AND CODES OF FORM
Codes of content refer to techniques used to unite components of an image to enable them to convey meaning.

Codes of form are aspects associated with the way the camera looks at the content and the manner in which shots are combined in editing.
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