Cultural Semiotics and
the Process of Encoding, Decoding
1. What is culture? And Cultural Semiotics -- p. 23
semiosis and representation pp. 68-69
The primary objective of semiotics is to understand both the brain's capacity to make and understand signs, and the knowledge-making activity this capacity allows all human beings to carry out. The capacity is known as semiosis, the activity as representation. Semiosis is the neurobiological capacity itself that underlies the production and comprehension of signs, from simple physiological signals to those that reveal highly complex symbolism; representation is a deliberate use of signs to probe, classify, and hence know the world.
2. method p. 105
3. Body --
4. Language --
II. the Process of Encoding, Decoding
|1. process of communication: Hall
suggests a four-stage theory of communication: production, circulation,
use (which here he calls distribution or consumption), and reproduction.
2. the relationship between the stages of communication: For him each stage is 'relatively autonomous' from the others. This means that the coding of a message does control its reception but not transparently--each stage has its own determining limits and possibilities.
3. polysemy but not pluralism:The concept of relative autonomy allows him to argue that polysemy is not the same as pluralism: messages are not open to any interpretation or use whatsoever--just because each stage in the circuit limits possibilities in the next.
4. complex structure of dominiance--1) at each stage [messages] are 'imprinted' by institutional power relations. 2) power relations at the point of production . . . will loosely fit those at the point of consumption. --> a message can only be received at a particular stage if it is recognizable or appropriate.
|The apparatuses, relations and practices of production -->||discursive form or
"message form" -->
|social practices -->||articulation of meaning, taking of meaning|
- '"meaning structure 1" and "meaning structure 2" may not be the same. ...The codes of encoding and deconding may not be perfectly the symmetrical. The degrees of symmetry--that is, the degrees of 'understanding' and 'misunderstanding' in the communicative exchange--depend on the degrees of symmetry/asymmetry established between the positions of the ...encoder-producer and decoder-receiver.'
- against behaviorism in audience studies.
- against selective perception--never selective, random, or privatized as the concept suggest.
- misunderstanding p. 99 --1. failure to use the operate within the 'dominant' or 'preferred' code.