Theory Key Names
Annotated list of scholars and terms, from the Instructors Manual and margin notes in the text
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- Roland Barthes
- A French semiologist who held the Chair of Literary Semiology at the College of France and whose theorizing focused on the cultural meaning of signs.
- Ferdinand de Saussure
- A Swiss linguist who coined the term semiology.
- Semiotics (Semiology)
- The study of the social production of meaning from sign systems; the analysis of anything that can stand for something else.
- The connotative meaning that signs carry wherever they go; myth makes what is cultural seem natural.
- The inseparable combination of the signifier and the signified.
- The physical form of the sign as we perceive it through our senses; an image.
- The meaning we associate with the sign.
- Denotative sign system
- A descriptive sign without ideological content.
- Connotative sign system
- A mythic sign that has lost its historical referent; form without substance.
- The process of unmasking contradictions within a text; debunking.
- Knowledge presented as common sense or “natural,” especially when its social construction is ignored or suppressed.
- Kyong Kim
- A communication scholar and author of a book that applies semiotics to media theory.
- Anne Norton and Douglas Kellner
- University of Pennsylvania political scientist and UCLA media scholar (formerly from the University of Texas at Austin), respectively, who expand Barthes’ semiotic approach to account for how signs may subvert the status quo.
You can access the Key Names for a particular chapter in several ways:
- Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
- To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
- You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
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