Blog Post Week 3

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Hall's "Encoding/Decoding" article was very complex and somewhat hard to follow. On page 204 he mentions connotation and denotation which reminded me of the signifier/signified concept. In analogous form, it seems as if "denotation" (the "literal" meaning of a sign) is in line with "signifier", which is the material object in discourse, and that "connotation," which Hall defines as "the more associative meanings for the sign which it is possible to generate," is aligned with "signified", which is the meaning of the material object in discourse.

Also on page 204, Hall notes that signs "acquire their full ideological value" with connatative interpretations and that it is at the "connotative level of the sign that situational ideologies alter and transform signification." On page 206, he notes that broadcasters are concerned that the audience is not getting the right things out of the programming. Sometimes people watching a particular show do not understand the way the show is being presented due to unfamiliarity with the terminology used, the subject matter, or the manner in which the material is presented.

Another interesting point that Hall makes is on page 207 when he talks about "systematic 'over-accessing' of selective elite personnel and their 'definition of the situation' in television," and how this is done "inadvertently." Here, I saw Hall's point to be that the dominant groups of society control the things that we see on television and how those things are presented. Another interesting point that Hall makes is on page 207 when he talks about "systematic 'over-accessing' of selective elite personnel and their 'definition of the situation' in television," and how this is done "inadvertently." Here, I saw Hall's point to be that the dominant groups of society control the things that we see on television and how those things are presented. This leads to a very narrow range of perspectives through which messages are communicated to the public.

I think that today people (in the United States, anyway) are much more cynical than they used to be. Many people today, it seems, operate with the "oppositional code" Hall talks about. Especially when he mentions people reading into things that people debating an issue bring up. It is a reflection on the feelings of disapproval that many Americans have towards the government today.

4 Comments

I agree that scope of perspectives presented in the media are narrow, and typically reflect the polarized sociopolitical and economic climate of our time. I believe this is where, in part, the cynicism that you refer to comes from. We put our trust (and money) in things that serve us well, and that reflects our values. As social, political, and economic ideologies become more extreme in our society, the markets driven by these ideologies become more difficult to operate within, because appealing to a consumer base is hit or miss without much grey area, so to speak. Thus, giving us less and less for which to see ourselves in the media. I don't believe that the American public is as polarized as our systems of power.

I really find your analysis thorough and smart. I, too, believe that people today are very cynical and that we have alot of issues accepting one another because the media portrays everyone as perfect. This very much relays back to the idea that about how our point of view is only that we are "analytical" of one another. If we only visually see what is in front of us without description or explanation, we automatically assume that they are perfect. Hall also mentions that "iconic signs are, however, particularly vulnerable to being 'read' as natural because visual codes of perception are very widely distributed and because this type of sign is less arbitrary than a linguistic sign." For some reason, I see this as a challenge to be different then this generalization that he has enforced. Unfortunately, we are human, and we link ideas to physical things, and vise versa.

I really find your analysis thorough and smart. I, too, believe that people today are very cynical and that we have alot of issues accepting one another because the media portrays everyone as perfect. This very much relays back to the idea that about how our point of view is only that we are "analytical" of one another. If we only visually see what is in front of us without description or explanation, we automatically assume that they are perfect. Hall also mentions that "iconic signs are, however, particularly vulnerable to being 'read' as natural because visual codes of perception are very widely distributed and because this type of sign is less arbitrary than a linguistic sign." For some reason, I see this as a challenge to be different then this generalization that he has enforced. Unfortunately, we are human, and we link ideas to physical things, and vise versa.

I really find your analysis thorough and smart. I, too, believe that people today are very cynical and that we have alot of issues accepting one another because the media portrays everyone as perfect. This very much relays back to the idea that about how our point of view is only that we are "analytical" of one another. If we only visually see what is in front of us without description or explanation, we automatically assume that they are perfect. Hall also mentions that "iconic signs are, however, particularly vulnerable to being 'read' as natural because visual codes of perception are very widely distributed and because this type of sign is less arbitrary than a linguistic sign." For some reason, I see this as a challenge to be different then this generalization that he has enforced. Unfortunately, we are human, and we link ideas to physical things, and vise versa.

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This page contains a single entry by DarkStar published on February 7, 2013 8:30 PM.

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