Stuart Hall-Encoding/Decoding

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Please post discussion questions for Hall's Encoding/Decoding here. Use the following questions to guide your reading and note-taking.

This essay is a very important work in media and cultural studies. As you read, try to tease out how Hall understands what he calls the "televisional sign." How does this differ from the sign in Williamson's sense?

How is Hall using the terms denotation and connotation? How does this differ from the use of these terms in traditional linguistics? Relatedly, what does he mean by the phrase the "fixity of meaning"?

Polysemic means having multiple meanings (or having the capacity for multiple meanings). Why is this concept important to Hall's essay?

How is Hall using the concepts of "ideology" and "discourse"?

What does Hall mean by "hegemonic"?

What is the difference between "dominant or preferred meaning," "negotiated meaning," and "oppositional reading"? Why are these important for Hall?

3 Comments

Hall takes sign a different way than Williamson did by stating that there are the obvious ways that culture will see a sign and what message the media is trying to get across and there are the literal ways that culture will take the sign for what is actually happening in that media but Hall brings up how we individually my take the sign differently based on our class and personal perspective.In fact you might take it the opposite of what they had intended to communicate because of your personal beleifs. What signs have you seen and recognized in those three ways? One example that I can think of is the Vote Yes for the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. Their advertisments at the state fair were trying to appeal to get my vote for their cause by appealing to society to protect children and the traditional family. My veiws are the opposite of this so when I saw their ad it actually made me think these people are not protecting the kids. The kids that are from familys with same sex parents are going to be treated badly by these vote yes people. So I saw their message and what they were trying to get me to beleive in but felt the opposite after seeing it.

My understanding of the text is that Hall refutes the sender/message/receiver definition of encoding and decoding (a definition we have used to analyze situations) and proposes a similar one that has more parts to it, but each only has one specific function, instead of one function (i.e. sender) having many roles in the encoding process. He goes on to use this new meaning and new definitions to apply encoding and decoding to mass media.

While reading, I had many questions, but one was regarding the the hypotheses Hall proposes toward the end of the chapter. Have you ever tried or have you ever noticed anyone trying to present the information in such a way to make you use a different code to decode it? Is this a feasible way to present information?

My understanding of the text is that Hall refutes the sender/message/receiver definition of encoding and decoding (a definition we have used to analyze situations) and proposes a similar one that has more parts to it, but each only has one specific function, instead of one function (i.e. sender) having many roles in the encoding process. He goes on to use this new meaning and new definitions to apply encoding and decoding to mass media.

While reading, I had many questions, but one was regarding the the hypotheses Hall proposes toward the end of the chapter. Have you ever tried or have you ever noticed anyone trying to present the information in such a way to make you use a different code to decode it? Is this a feasible way to present information?

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on September 19, 2012 8:26 PM.

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