Applying Roland Barthes Communication Theory

Topics: Semiotics, Philosophy of language, Denotation Pages: 3 (1014 words) Published: October 10, 2012
Apple Case - Applying Roland Barthes communication theory

In the following text I will introduce and summarize Roland Barthes’s communicational theory and describe its focus, purpose and application. Furthermore I will apply it to the Apple case: „3: Apple slogans, advertisements, and merchandize”, from the given material. I will attempt to give my own explanation of the function and its relevance to the example provided.

Barthes in his theoretical essay “Myth Today” states that myth is neither an object, concept or idea but an act of speech - an utterance, which gives a myth no limit appliance. “Everything ,then, can be a myth? Yes, I believe this, for the universe is in infinitely fertile in suggestions.” (Barthes 2009:131) Furthermore in his study Barthes elaborates on a work of a swiss linguist Saussure, who defined 3 main terms in semiology, the science of verbal and non verbal signs and symbols. Signifier (the visual image or acoustic), Signified (the mental image triggered by signifier). Barthes was interested in second order semiology, which triggers a second meaning of the signified, called the Sign. “That which is a sign (namely the associative total of concept and an image) in the first system, becomes mere signified in a second.” (Barthes 2009:137) By Griffin, Barthes later revised his work on semiology and specified two distinctive meanings in myth. Denotation (first order meaning) and Connotation (second order meaning). Denotation is the stable definitive description of a visual, whereas connotation depends on a context, such as ideological beliefs, situations, times or history - that is Myth. The result is shown on a digram on a side: -denotation (first order meaning), is stated as a Language as it is linguistic order.

The first box language, representing a first order meaning concerning words and objects. In the second...
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