What do you see? • What comes to your mind when you look at this image? • Why do you associate those thoughts with this image?
Why Use Theories? • Different people experience the same message differently (4th key concept) • Media theories allow different people to view the same message in the same way • These theories act as “glasses” or “lenses” that we can put on and take off to experience the media in a few different ways
Theories - Semiotics • Humans make meaning through the creation and interpretation of 'signs'. Signs take the form of words, images, sounds, odours, flavours, acts or objects, but these things have no meaning until we assign them a meaning. Semiotics is the study of signs • For example, someone saw this and decided to assign the word “dog” to identify it. • Anything can be a sign as long as someone interprets it as 'signifying' something - referring to or standing for something other than itself. • a 'signifier' - the form which the sign takes (the word “dog”); and the 'signified' - the concept it represents
Theories - Semiotics • We are constantly interpreting signs all the time - we are always making associations with images with see, words we read, sounds we hear, etc • Remember that EVERYTHING is given a label or name by human beings - this means that signs are constructions and only represent someone else’s idea • What meaning do you attach to the images? • Why? Where did that meaning come from?
Theories - Semiotics • Interesting test - what do you see in the following image? • What do you think kids under the age of eight see? Why? • We assign different meanings to images, words, based on experiences - yet we can still analyze media by understanding the signifier and identifying what is signified.
Theories - Semiotics • Why is understanding semiotics important for understanding media? • We associate or assign different meanings to different images. words, etc so media producers can use this to help convey their message effectively (you can use it too!) • What signs / symbols / are used in the following ads? • Why? What associations are being made with the message and how does that help convey the message? http://www.vevo.com/watch/lady-gaga/born-this-way/USUV71100098?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=watch&utm_campaign=LadyGaga_BornThisWay
Theories - Hypodermic Syringe and Two-Step Flow • Swine flu, Charlie Sheen, iPad, 2012 • What do all of these things have in common?
Theories - Hypodermic Syringe and Two-Step Flow • They were all “injected” by the media into society and given power because people talked about them
Theories - Hypodermic Syringe and Two-Step Flow • The hypodermic syringe theory suggests that media injects ideas into the general public and that the general public will accept these ideas without much thought (like a needle injects drugs into a body) • The Two-Step Flow theory suggests that a few influential people will be persuaded by a medium’s message and then they will convince the general public to buy into the message
Theories - Hypodermic Syringe and Two-Step Flow • What “ideas” or “messages” do you think have been injected into and been accepted by the general public over the last year ? (think products, services, trends, people, etc) • What “ideas” or “messages” do you think have been passed on through influential people in the last year? (again, think products, services, trends, people, etc) • How does “confirmation bias” relate to these theories?