Terms Useful For Textual Analysis

Key concepts for the AS level Communication Studies paper in Textual Analysis

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Useful glossary for the Research (and other) section(s)
Text
A piece of communication: advert, newspaper, Poster etc.
Process model
Way of analysing communication in terms of a sender attempting to achieve a
purpose: having some effect on the receiver
Sender
Receiver
Encoding
Putting the message in a form so it can be sent e.g. a thought into NVC, the
need to advertise something into a leaflet
Decoding
How the audience makes sense of or perceives the message ­ depends on
their perceptual set
Barrier (mechanical, semantic, organisational, social/psychological)
These get in the way of effective communication> They can be physical (noise),
semantic (about meaning ­ speaking in a different language) or
social/psychological ­ personality or perception issues that may interfere or
caused by poor communication within an organisation.
Semiotic model
Way of looking at communication through looking at how texts create meaning
for people.
Sign (signifier/signified)
Communication takes place through signs: words, symbols, pictures and so on.
Signs are made up of two parts: the signifier ­ what is actually shown and the
signified: what it means to people. The creation of meaning is called
signification.
Levels of signification:
1. Denotation
What is actually represented eg, a picture of a dog. Everyone would agree on
this.
2. Connotation
Individual interpretations of a sign, based on our perception, socialisation and so
on.
3. Ideology
The values and attitudes represented by the sign ­ eg, pictures of the family ­
what do they say about how families ought to be?

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Paradigm
Every sentence, image, colour and so on is chosen from a number of choices.
The set of choices is called a paradigm eg, pictures of pop stars, colours
Syntagm
How the choices are grouped together to create a meaning.
Preferred reading
This term links the semiotic and process schools.…read more

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