2/27: Content Analysis and Semiotics

Please post a question (regarding matters of urgent importance to your intellectual development) as a reply to this post. Email me if you are still having troubles posting.

Here are some images to consider:





  1. On pages 115-116 Rose talks about how advertisements use images that portray a specific quality to the audience. He talks about physical, activity based, and setting representations. I’m wondering, if advertisers were to break these typical representations we see in ads, could they be more successful?

    We are becoming desensitized to advertising, so maybe if the conventional advertising tactics were broken, they could be more successful?

  2. On page 110 Rose talks about idiomedia and how the web filters the searches based on what you have been looking at in the past. What are the positives and negatives of idiomedia? Do you think it limits the results and causes people not to have all the information that is available?

  3. Content analysis is a method used to analyze large numbers of images in the media. How does using content analysis limit the meaning of an image? Is it an effective research tool?

  4. What about advertising and subliminal messaging such as Roundtable’s, Tostito’s and FedEx’s logos? Is that using the methods discussed as they make people feel different emotions towards that company or brand as to tend to purchase and use their product more.

  5. “If images gain meanings not only from their own signs then, but also from their relation with the signs of other images, it is necessary to consider what sort of relation to other images is most important for the images you are considering” (128).

    To what extent should we integrate the meanings and relations of other signs of images in regards to forming meaning of an image? It seems that meanings of signs and symbols come from meanings that already exist. Can we truly create a new meaning to a sign? Thoughts?

  6. TV programs that report the news such as FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC all filter the news to reach to a specific audience, is this in itslef a form of content analysis? Does the trust that people place in these programs purely derive from the content analysis of the individual?

  7. In social semiotics, pg 108, how has the change from the ‘sign’ to people using semiotic ‘resources’ combine to produce a artifact we interpret? what can be an example of this?

  8. How do these two commercials use metonymic and synecdochal signs to advertise noting specific, but still be effective overall?

  9. I’m confused as to what content analysis is. Is that like television stations using certain shows to target a certain kind of audience? Is MTV an example? Playing television programs they only really target a certain age group with their television programs?

  10. On page 96 Rose defines metasigns as “the way signs are mobilized by social groups as markers of their difference from others.”
    There are certain signs we are assumed to know the meaning of through social understanding, but if a brand was created using these known signs in their advertisements- like shiny sparkly advertisements mean expensive and exclusive- do these brands also then become a known sign?
    Like the way we assume that if something has the Coach logo on it it is different from all other plain bags and because it is expensive it is therefore better. Is this because of the sign (the Coach logo) itself or the use of proper advertising around the logo with the use of known signs that then created the Coach logo as a sign of its own? (Coach logo= expensive, high end, well-off consumer)
    And if the quality were so great, why then is it only socially accepted that women buy Coach goods with the logo made obvious, but for men it is hidden and subtle?

  11. I would have to agree with earlier post that society is becoming desensitized to commercials and that in order for advertisements to be successful they will have to step out of the box. In what ways have you noticed that companies are trying new ways to advertise? For example, I have started getting advertisements through texting which I have found to be extremely annoying.

    Also it seems like the only time commercials have really appealed to society is during the super bowl. How do you think that has come to be?

  12. p102 I agree with the authors explanation of the relationship between visibility and invisibility. Of course, one should understand what is laid out in front of them but it should be equally important to know “the whole story”. Retractions/editing/modifications/framing are all intentional and there is reasoning behind what’s included and what’s not. The task is to understand what those reasons are and whose behind them. For me, it has been beneficial to “take things with a grain of salt” because in doing so I’m edifying my critical eye and thought. The authors suggest that content analysis “fragments” a visual text, saying it can stunt “compositional interpretation”; we can not passively count on media outlets like National Geographic to show the “whole picture”.

  13. In Chapter 5 of Gillian Rose’s “Visual Methodologies”, the author discusses about coding and categorization. Rose writes, ” ‘coding’ means attaching a set of descriptive labels (or ‘categories’) to the images” (p. 90). My question is: how does coding influence our vision? How does categorizing the mass media or any kind of object impact the way we identify the world? The reason why I bring up this question is because the other day, I was thinking about how we humans label things in the world. I feel that the purpose of coding is to be able to identify the world through our senses. Vision, being one of them.

  14. When considering semiotic analysis, I would like to contextualize that analysis into areas like the mall and the airport. Places that exist but have the likeness to a vacuum. What kinds of meaning making practices are prevalent in those areas. Also, I would like to discuss how images within those areas help shape different subjectivities.

  15. Like most people have pointed out, Semiology provides a pathway in which to understand the image, or better stated how to read it. I think that is is extremely important to consider the images within the image itself as it gives meaning. On page 126 the author states, “It suggests that in order to analyze one image, or a few, it is necessary to look at the images they are constructed in contrast to, or in relation to.” It is perhaps as the author mentions the importance of what we are looking for, either content or seeing similarities between the shared location. These perceptions can give pathways in which we can correlate the various images.

  16. Rose says that content analysis is amongst a trend of patterns and demonstrates how we can recognize its patterns of the trends, such as in mass media. Can we see this in certain television series or in magazines?

  17. “The places in which visual images are displayed usinally entail quite specific visual practices” (137). As a culture we give meanings to different discourses and determine what is appropriate for certain places. An example of this would be why kid friendly commercials are played during the day, while others with more adult content are played at night. Why is our society obsessed with this categorization of television and other media mediums?

  18. We are constantly subjected to advertisements through the inernet, television, bilboards, magazines, radio, and so many other ways. In what ways have Logo’s itself become a form of advertisment? When we see people wearing the Nike Logo we automatically know what brand that is. That simple logo, is also a form of advertisment that we see on a daily basis.

  19. In what ways are advertisements adapting to modern technology? How direct do you think they wil become? Most signs within commercials are ment for certain and specific audiences, how is it that there can be ads that appeal to a bigger audience? would advertisement be better suited for a larger audience or smaller?

  20. Rose mentions Gilliams Dyer’s book on Advertising and gives us an extensive list on the representations of bodies. These include, age gender, race, hair, body, size, and looks. My question is how do our assuptions and sterotypes play into advertisement?Since Advertisers create these many images that are based on these categories what are the implications for the people that are viewing these advertisments on a daily bases? (pg 114)

    Also when it comes to content analysis I am very interested in this qualitative form of research. But on page 83, Rose sates
    ” Once cultuural context is created and distrubuited to many readers and viewers”.

    Another question that i had was, How has participant journalism (that is everyday people catching things on camera/ twitter/youtube) threaten the idea of the “one-to-many model of distrubution?

  21. Do you think that ads like the one on p.123 of the Chanel watch are could be successful for non-brand companies? Though the ad is simple Rose explains that, “The watch in Figure 6.6…is a diving watch and the ad plays with signs of water in its colour and images of bubbles; but the huge size of the watch seem to me also to emphasise the physical qualities of the object itself” (p.122) Do you think this ad would still be as effective if the Chanel brand was removed? How much do you think companies like Chanel rely on their brand to sell their products?

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