Critical Theory Writers and their key ideas Dean Wall Gary Burke
Ferdinand De Saussure • Swiss linguist whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century • His views revolutionized the study of language • He is considered one of the fathers of Semiotics
Ferdinand De Saussure – Key Ideas • Created the theory that humans make a separation between the word and its meaning • In this theory: • A signifier is the culturally shared sign which represents the real world understanding of the sign or symbol • The signified,each individual forms (through association or accommodation) a mental schema that is applied during the communication process to create meaning
Ferdinand De Saussure – Influences Influence on new media: • Yes • People associate certain colours with different things (eg. The color red = Warning, Danger, Blood) • When developing media people have to be aware of these things.
Noam Chomsky • American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian and activist • Professor at MIT for over 50 years • Department of linguistics and philosophy • Known for his critiques within many areas such as: • Capitalism • The media • Co-wrote the book that explored the topic that news media was a form of propaganda (1988) with Edward Herman
Noam Chomsky – Key Ideas • To analyze mainstream mass media and its structures and constraints in its role in supporting government and business interests • Created a 'propaganda model' • Democratic societies use a subtle non-violent means of control • Totalitarian systems use violent force to coerce the general public • Famous quote: • “propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state”
Noam Chomsky - Influences • Influences on new media? • Yes • Makes us think about the truths within todays media • Not everything we are told is true / how much is • Journalism • Whoever controls the media can manipulate it • North Korea dictatorship