Visual Social Publications in the Newspapers of Greek Primary Schools: A Semiotic Analysis

By Valsamidou, Lina P. | Journal of Sociological Research, July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Visual Social Publications in the Newspapers of Greek Primary Schools: A Semiotic Analysis


Valsamidou, Lina P., Journal of Sociological Research


Abstract

In the present study we investigate, record and discuss icons with a social content, their type, their signifieds and ideological significations, wishing to extract useful conclusions regarding the use of icons in school newspapers as vehicles of social messages. The research material comprises in total 252 images with a social content found in the columns of school newspapers, whereas the collection of the sample was based on the study of 64 school newspaper issues coming from 32 titles of primary school newspapers from all over Greece that were published in 2004-2006.

All in all, it appears that social iconic publications create the editors' vivid interest, as they find their way mostly in the inside pages of newspapers. The analysis of the icons as to their signifieds places emphasis on the dominant ideological forms: the signifieds of historic anniversaries, school life and environmental education come before the others, which in turn suggests the dominant ideological trends, history-school-environment ecology: a triptych that emerges through the social-iconic choices of those involved in publishing school newspapers.

Keywords: visual social publications, school newspapers, semiotic analysis, students-journalists

l.Introduction

Recent years have known the dynamic development of a new "iconology", a new theory of images known as "visual theory" which practically constitutes an extension of iconology as defined by Panofsky (1991) only that it expands to all visual arts and the new forms of the technological icon. According to Jenks (1995) an icon is the eye of the mind, it is the subjective notion formed in the mind as a result of sensory stimuli. According to this view, an icon is identified with the representations and notions that are formed through diverse and complicated perceptions of various sensory stimuli.

According to Arnheim (1969), an image or visual-representational sign may be used for three different functions: as a "sign", as a "picture" or as a "symbol". A "sign" is an image that stands for a particular content (referent), without reflecting its characteristics visually, as a letter of the alphabet for example. A "picture" is an image (visual-representational sign) that renders the object (referent), as for example the visual image of a mountain or its portrayal with a triangle. A visual sign has a lower level of abstraction than the referent. A picture always states the visual qualities of things and it is always the image that shares a visible resemblance with the object it refers to. A "symbol" is a visual-representational sign that portrays a thing (referent) at a lower level of abstractness than is the thing (referent) itself, like for instance a triangle that serves as a symbol of equality. Arnheim (1969:12-13) states that "signs", symbols and pictures are three functions of an image, not three different types and their perception with one or another function depends on the way they are used, thus introducing the reader's ability in the interpretation of "signs".

Icons, according to Llorens (1979), are a means to visual representation. The term "icon" refers to the faithful depiction or schematic representation of reality, all types of painting, photography, designs, sketches, films, videotapes, even drawings produced by computers. Therefore, an icon in every form, as accumulation of meaning and as a means of communication, provides the visual communication with multiple possibilities due to the aesthetic codes and the divergence between the aesthetic codes of the transmitter and the receiver.

As proposed by Mitzroeff (1999:3-5), the turn to image is an effort to bridge "the gap between the wealth of visual experience in postmodern culture and the ability to analyze that observation", whereas the visual culture does not depend on pictures themselves, but on the modern tendency to picture or visualize existence. Barthes (1988) stresses that all iconic messages develop in a direct and obvious manner a complementary message apart from the analogical content (scene, object, landscape), which is what is usually called style of the reproduction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Upgrade your membership to receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad‑free environment

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Visual Social Publications in the Newspapers of Greek Primary Schools: A Semiotic Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved in your active project from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.