Mass Media and Semiotics Term Paper by Quality Writers

Mass Media and Semiotics
A discussion of semiotics and consumption in the age of mass media.
# 103653 | 2,199 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2008 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper essay examines how the study of the sign and semiotic theory may be applied to mass media texts and, in particular, to television. The paper argues that, while there exist two distinct textual forms in television media - advertising and programming - a semiotic analysis reveals the ways in which these forms structurally reinforce each other in creating a semiotics of consumption for the mass media audience. The paper explains that the particular signs, signifiers and referents may change over time as television mythologies evolve, but a constant through this entire evolutionary process has been the "language of consumption". The paper looks at how semiotics allows us to understand how the medium of television operates in our collective consciousness.

The Sign and its Field of Study
Television and Semiotics
Television and the Culture of Consumption

From the Paper:

"Given the prominence of mass media in our society, it is perhaps not surprising that semiotics should have focused considerable attention upon the most dominant of these media: television. The field of media semiotics, as pioneered by French semiotician Roland Barthes, has focused particular attention upon the production of meaning in the area of pop culture in which television assumes obvious prominence (Danesi 240). Barthes argues that the "semiotic method" takes the form of two investigative processes:
- the study of the historical (and thus highly connotative) origin of meaning systems;
- unraveling the nature of signification in human activities, whether it manifests itself as a word, a novel, a TV program, or some other human artifact."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barthes, Roland. "Language vs. Speech." In Perron, Paul and Danesi, Marcel, eds. Classic Readings in Semiotics. Toronto: Legas, 2003: 167-172.
  • "Brand Practice." The Hollywood Reporter. April 28, 2005. Accessed: April 4, 2007.
  • Danesi, Marcel. Messages, Signs, and Meanings Third Edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2004.
  • Eco, Umberto. A Theory of Semiotics. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1976.
  • Galan, Frederic. Historic Structures. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Mass Media and Semiotics (2008, May 22) Retrieved December 05, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Mass Media and Semiotics" 22 May 2008. Web. 05 December. 2020. <>