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Semiotics in Communication

Winter 2013 Comm300

Madelyn Downs

on 26 March 2013

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Transcript of Semiotics in Communication

Abdul Abbas
Jeff Bintinger
Madelyn Downs
Brad Ewert
Abigail Hartge
Robert Grden Semiotics in Communication The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation Likeness What is semiotic communication? Also known as icons

Definition: Served to convey ideas of the things they represent simply by imitating them

Conveys ideas by imitating them

Likeness/Icons used to symbolize. Ideas connected to words, ideas, or things.

Used to draw similarities
Qualities that resemble the objects
Likeness is not necessarily a complete description of an exact object. Art Likeness/ Icon in the realm of art
Andy Warhol Art icon
Campbell's soup can
Symbolic to Post War recovery
Public consciousness of "Pop Art"
Appropriation for American Culture
First exhibit was displayed in 1962
Los Angeles, Irving Blum
Legendary publication of
Campbell's Soup Fashion *Fashion is a language of signs and symbols.
*Displays a desired personal image of who we are.
*Their existence depends on the culture and society from which they derive from.
*What message is communicated through these symbols? Indications Also known as indices

Definition: Show something about things, on account of their being physically connected with them Sports Icons are not just signs but can be people as well and no better examples then in sports. Music Symbols Also known as general signs.

Definition: Have become associated with their meanings and usage;
These are most words, phrases, speeches, books, libraries

A symbol cannot indicate any particular thing; it denotes a kind of thing

Symbols grow and come out of being by development of other signs Research Methods Wonderful and Corrupt Aspects of Semiotics Wonderful Corrupt Communication with Aliens Religion Politics 1. Questions
2. Procedures
3. Data
4. Translation
5. Findings
6. Value 1. Questions- What is a sign and what does it accomplish?

2. Procedures- The approach to the semiotic tradition is not to persuade someone of something but rather to understand a topic by looking at it more in depth. If a photograph can be a form of communication, then what can radio waves communicate?

Is our past our present?

If we can communicate with the dead, can we communicate with aliens?

If we can not understand a living being on this earth, how will we understand aliens?

SETI- " Clearly the conclusion [that the chasm between the living and the dead can be bridged] is either folly and self-deception, or it is a truth of the utmost importance to humanity" The Photographic Message 3. Data: Semiotics uses many types of data to answer questions raised. Yet, the main ones are observable, interpretable, and informative. You can observe a sign, you need to be able to interpret it, and it can give you information. People may not like the message you convey with your symbols

The semiotics may be misinterpreted

In order to "get" the sign or symbol, a person must have background knowledge on what it means, if they do not, it is lost on them Religious semiotics include symbols, texts, rituals, and works of art
Helps to identity one's beliefs to the world
Helps to express the values or the teachings of the religion
Brings believers closer to their object of worship Data and Translation Questions and Procedures Findings and Value Flint, Michigan 4. Translation: This means translating into knowledge. This is prevalent in street signs and company signs. People look at a stop sign and know what that means. Everyone also knows what the Nike swoosh means or see a Little Caesars sign and know what kind of food they serve there. There are many values in our society. The values are not always in words. Ex: American Flag, it is not just a
flag but a symbol of our nation. Patriotism
nationality, honor, loyalty, who we are as a culture There are many reasons for the need to study signs. Some of those reasons are to better understand humans, our world around us, and the other entities within this world. Ex: Andy Warhol used a can of soup to
express "Pop Culture" for the first time,
but also appropriated the American history. - In politics we you don't just have symbols you follow with people but also political symbols.
- Helps to identity ones belief in policy
-Helps to show ones values in direction of the country
- Political Parties Stand for something? My family generational example over icons and best player ever Student Participation Athletes turn into celebrities, icons, and symbols of their sports. They get followed wherever they go and get criticized for anything wrong they may do. Example Tiger Woods. Photographs are social Phenomena, codes of cultural knowledge and ideologies that have to be understood

Message within made through denotation (literal meaning) and connotation (suggested/implied meaning)
---Ex. LeBron James denotes a specific basketball player, while LeBron James connotes NBA, Sports, competition, ‘best athlete on earth’ etc.

‘Photographic Paradox’ due to co-existence of denotative and connotative messages in an image.

Historical and cultural aspects of photo just as significant.

“Photographs and their cultural meanings, whether it is attached with text, have changed over the years” (Barthes, 1977).

In the past, the image illustrated the test, but today, the text "rationalizes the image" (Barthes, 1977).

The closer the text is to an image, the less is seems to connote. If we were to define music we would only limit its value and function.

When we listen we identify what we hear as either: something new, something we have heard before, or something that is similar but not exactly the same as what we have heard before.

The signals music produces transmit meaning to the listener; if the listener and composer share common understanding then it’s a common meaning.

Generally that common understanding is vague or nonexistent creating unique different signs of understanding.

When we look for meaning other than the sound itself we get lost in interpretation of the signs themselves.

The moment we give a certain meaning to a particular sound sign we discover we cannot replicate that meaning because of it's uniqueness.

Each listener will have a different combination of memory, experiences, and responses to that sound. Discovering the ways people understand phenomena and organize them mentally.

Understanding the process in which we devise means for transmitting that understanding and sharing it with others.

Non-verbal signaling that extends to domains whose communicative dimension is perceived only unconsciously or subliminally.

Understanding communication and interpretation in the realm of knowledge, meaning, intention/perception and action.
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