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Interpreting Media Messages. Meeting Two. Intertextuality and Self-Construction. INTERTEXTUALITY All texts contain other texts Media discourse is qualitatively continuous within the exposure of everyday life. Viewers draw from their own attitudes, values and memories for meaning

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Intertextuality and self construction l.jpg
Intertextuality and Self-Construction

INTERTEXTUALITY

All texts contain other texts

Media discourse is qualitatively continuous within the exposure of everyday life.

Viewers draw from their own attitudes, values and memories for meaning

Viewers freely associate their own direct experiences with media images


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Example

  • Viewers watching Wall Street Week activate various types of knowledge drawn from other sources.

  • There is a complexity of viewer discourse about economic news


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Game Show Intertextuality:Wheel of Fortune

SITUATIVE FRAMEWORK

  • Show is situated as open and geared toward spectator

  • Defined roles of host, assistant, guest, players, audience, viewers


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Fortune is a network of 3 integrated situative frameworks

  • Located in the context of TV

  • Belongs to the genre of TV entertainment

  • Includes on-stage presentations of individual scenes

    Situative components have thematic, interpretive and motivational importance for participants in defining behavior roles and communication power


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Game rules define situation for participants

  • HOST focuses interactions with players on self, structures situation, provides cue-words and instruction. Power symbol.

  • ASSISTANT turns playing board letters

  • VOICE OVER present products, prizes

  • STUDIO AUDIENCE audible, not visible; sealed from what is on-screen.


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Context

  • Show adapts situations, problems, games from everyday life

  • Everyday guessing is core of the show

  • Everyday knowledge is gained through popular media consumption

  • Show success not based upon previous specialized education


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Prizes: objects of value and profit

  • Consumption of objects is part of self-image

  • An appeal to viewer’s socioculture class affiliation is carried out through the selection of winnings alone

  • Products are hidden stars.

  • Achievement is rewarded in competitive situations - 1 winner, others losers

  • Even if game is out of everyday life, outcome reverts back to aspects of everyday values


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Game Show Genres

  • Competitive games (Board Room, Survivor)

  • Guessing or quiz shows (Jeopardy)

  • Prize games (Wheel of Fortune)

  • Interactive games (Blind Date)


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Social Semiotics of Media Reception: Qualitative Concepts

  • Discourse / language is social reality, inter-subjective and represents both an analytical object and central tool of analysis

  • Subjectivity is conceived through language and gives voice to a discursive position

  • Context is a configuration of texts, which must be read or interpreted


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Social Semiotics Distilled

  • Signs are primary mod of interacting with reality and establishing meaning production.

  • Signs are not what we know but how we come to know what we say we know.

  • Concept of differences imply a focus on social uses of signs, not signs themselves

  • Interpretive communities incorporate social and discursive aspects of reception

  • Qualitative studies use semiotics by analyzing audience uses of media in cultural contexts


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Encoding / Decoding

  • Encoding: Message senders craft meaning a for audiences by delivering a text with audience-specific symbols

  • Decoding: Message receivers make sense out of the message through their symbolic associations

  • Aberrant decoding occurs when the audience’s interpretation differs from what the sender intended


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Intended message a parody of the battle between Apple and IBM

Science fiction genre invoked

No commercial message until the end

Story told with symbols

1984 Commercial


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Element IBM

Time

Setting

Woman

Soldiers

Inmates

Big Bro

Explosion

USA Russia

Future past

Prison concentration camp

Heroine, Nike athlete, freedom

SWAT, bad police, fear, control

Clones, bald camp inmates, skins

IBM boss/media dictator

New generation revolution

Images and Culture-Based Meanings


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Questions IBM

  • How does Reader Response theory differ from aberrant decoding?

  • What can producers of TV spots do to avoid one and positively enable the other?


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Guess Commercial IBM

  • Watch w/o sound. Write a script to accompany the visuals. What assumptions have you made? Where to they come from?

  • What differences exist among viewers?

  • Watch with sound. Explain what language contributes to understanding the message.

  • From what text genres does it draw?


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Readings: Wicks IBM

  • He says the more we use media, the less we interact with other people. True?

  • He blames internet discourse for halting pubic discourse. What role does MoveOn.com play in this debate?

  • Is profit the prime motivator for today’s media providers?

  • How likely are audiences to reject mediated messages?


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Readings: Film Analysis IBM

  • Are the authors correct in concluding that an appeal to enlightened self-interest is the film’s most successful means of communicating its message? Why?

  • What is the role of selective perception for film viewing?

  • How serious is the boomerang effect for film producers?


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Readings: Social Problem Movie IBM

  • This study says addicts get reinforcement of their fantasies and addictions from film.

  • What are some examples from recently released films that might accommodate addicts?

  • What audience benefits may result from films on social problems?


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