Semiotics: The Basics

Semiotics: The Basics

Semiotics: The Basics

Semiotics: The Basics

Synopsis

Using jargon-free language and lively, up-to-date examples, Semiotics: The Basics demystifies this highly interdisciplinary subject. Along the way, the reader will find out:* what is a sign?* which codes do we take for granted?* what is a text?* how can semiotics be used in textual analysis?* who were Saussure, Peirce, Barthes and Jakobson - and why are they important?Features include a glossary of key terms and realistic suggestions for further reading. There is also a highly-developed and long-established online version of the book at: www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B

Excerpt

The first version of this text was written in 1994 for my own students. No comparable text on the subject existed at the time so I rashly attempted to create one which suited my own purposes and those of my students. It was partly a way of advancing and clarifying my own understanding of the subject. Like many other readers, my forays into semiotics had been frustrated by many of the existing books on the subject that frequently seemed almost impossible to understand. As an educationalist, I felt that the authors of such books should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The subject of meaning-making is of understandable fascination for a very wide readership, but most of the existing books seemed to seek to make it confusing, dull and deeply obscure.

The academic priorities that led me to write this text (teaching a media education class for third-year undergraduates) had consequences for its evolution. However, since I wrote the original text, I have broadened its scope considerably, so that there are now frequent references not only to the mass media but also to other subjects, such as literature, art and mythology. One of the things that attracted me to semiotics was the way in which it supports my own enjoyment of crossing the 'boundaries' of academic disciplines, and of making

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