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Codes: meaning systems consisting of signs. Signs are anything that has the potential togenerate
meaning, to signify. When a sign has generated meaning, it is said to have
achieved signification. This is fundamental to the semiotic approach to the study of
Communication: a process through which meanings are exchanged.…

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social change.
Alienation: the state of disillusionment and frustration felt by workers working in industrial
processes which offer work that is not fulfilling in itself.
Base/superstructure model: a way of understanding Marx's view of the relationship
between the economy (the base) and the social/cultural sphere such as family, politics and…

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classes in order to maintain the state of `false consciousness' which prevents workers from
seeing their true or material interests.
Ideology (2): a system of representation.
Ideological State Apparatuses: in Althusser's view, our values, desires and preferences
are inculcated in us by ideological practice, the sphere which has the defining…

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Polysemy: the capacity for a sign (e.g. a word, phrase, etc.) or signs to have multiple
meanings (sememes), i.e., a large semantic field. This is a pivotal concept within social
sciences, such as media studies and linguistics.
Semiotics: the study of signs in their contexts.
Post-structuralism: the intellectual…

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advanced postmodern cultures. Hyperreality is a means to characterise the way
consciousness defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of media can
radically shape and filter the original event or experience being depicted. For example, an
on-line computer gamer begins to live in the non-existent world…

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factors such as an organism's individual genes (as opposed to social or environmental
factors) completely determine how a system behaves or changes over time.
Diaspora (in Greek, ­ "a scattering [of seeds]"): the movement of any population
sharing common ethnic identity who were either forced to leave or voluntarily left…

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Orientalism: the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers,
designers and artists. An "Orientalist" may be a person engaged in these activities, but it is
also the traditional term for any scholar of Oriental studies.
These meanings were given a new twist by 20th…

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irreducible, unchanging element, one that is always found shared with other, related
mythemes and reassembled in various ways--"bundled" was Claude Lévi-Strauss's
image--or linked in more complicated relationships, like a molecule in a compound. For
example, the myths of Adonis and Osiris share several elements, leading some scholars to
conclude that…


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