Encoding, decoding theory



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The Media Concept





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The Media Concept

Semiotics Theory.

Semiotics refers to the study of signs communication. This theory was developed by Ferdinard de Saussure, who recognized five different semiotic elements common in all texts. Examples of semiotics include logos, traffic signs, emoticons, and emojis. There are vital factors required for the message to be passed through signs; signifier and signified. The signifier entails any sound, event, gesture, or motion that conveys the meaning and communicates the message.

He collected the signifiers into five different codes; semantic, hermeneutic, cultural, proairetic, and symbolic. These codes depict the culture value and thus have the ability to add new connotation shades to every life aspect. Therefore, society has to agree on a denotative meaning in their language though the word could transmit meaning only in the language’s codes and grammatical structure. The signified means the concept that the signifier refers to, the meaning it conveys.

In addition, the signs themselves have a basic aspect that are denotation and connotation. Saussure suggests that signs are arbitrary in that they are no connection between the signs and its definition Denotation is the primary meaning of the sign example, the rose flower. Connotation refers to the figurative meaning that culture associates with a sign. For example, a culture may associate rose flower with Love. Its objective is to describe how signs are utilized to represent particular ideas in communication.

To communicate semiotic, the message sender should encode it with useful signs to get their point across. The receiver should, after that, decode the sign for him to understand the messages’ meaning. The communication process is not only vital to the media world but also to society’s functioning. The signs are usually decoded to navigate the entire world around us, communicate vital information quickly, and let us know what to expect next. For example, when there is a cloud of smoke, one expects to see fire. Therefore, the communication process that carries meaning relies on the utilization of codes that might be individual letters or sounds that individuals utilize in forming words and the body movement to depict emotion and attitude.


Encoding, decoding theory

In the 1980s, researchers made a move from attempting to measure what kind of effect the media has on the audience instead focused on how the media and audience function together, that is, cultural studies; how the media operates in the society as a whole. The theory suggests that media carries vital messages that the producers encode in text. Although the audience holds their own individual interpretation at the time they decode a text through a negotiation process.

The theory was an extension of the original century-old Semiotics studies. Stuart hall in 1980 suggested that the audience has great power in reading a text. While media producers work hard to embed a preferred reading in a text, it is ultimately the audience who make the decision on how they interpret the meaning by fitting it into their world of understanding.  Hall suggested that the audience might come to a different understanding of a text depending on the reception context that they saw.

  1. Encoding

Refers to the process by which media carries vital messages. The media utilize information from prior knowledge and technical capabilities in encoding the message into a text that the audience receives. In the process, the media is usually active in encoding the message though it poses little power because once the message reaches the audience, it afterward becomes unuseful, thereby losing its meaning.

  1. Decoding

The decoding process entails the audience influenced by the prior knowledge and technical capabilities to decode a particular text from the media, thereby attaining the meaning. Hall suggested that the audiences negotiate meaning when they are decoding a message presented by media. The audience that does the encoding process is usually very active, constantly negotiating the intention from the media text. As such, there are three main positions that the audience might occupy while reading a text.

  1. Dominant position; the audience occupies this position when they accept the message that the media wanted them to accept.
  2. Negotiated position; the audience occupies this position when they accept part of the aspects of the message though they reject other parts of the message.
  3. Oppositional position; the audience occupies this position when they reject the connotation of the media producer’s message. Although they may still understand the denotation.

Circuit of culture.

It is a theory that was utilized in the subject of cultural studies. The approach was devised in 1997 by a theorist group who were studying the Walkman Cassettes Player. Paul de Gay gave the name circuit of culture has five aspects that include; Representation, Identity, Production, Consumption, and Regulation. They suggested that these five aspects complete a circuit by which any cultural text analysis should pass when required to be studied adequately.

The five aspects are effective tools for analyzing contemporary cultural practices that exist in society. Cultural studies are viewed as radical contextualization that detects or examines how cultural objects or text functions. All the aspects are closely connected in that no element works separately; they are all related. He suggests that these academic perspectives might relate to various social viewpoints and positions where different cultural aspects circulate to acquire the greatest salience.

  1. Representation

It entails the description of a symbol or something, and the description leads to effective communication that relies on shared understanding between the communicators. It aims to illustrate a common understanding of what is or is not referred to as Conceptual Maps since it is integrally connected with meaning, communication, and meaning.

  1. Identification

Refers to the related position of participants. That includes their looks, behavior, actions, and ideas, as well as authority, fruitfulness, and position. It involves the cultural politics that are vital for the success of international programs. Identification of a certain condition and its discourses play a corresponding crucial responsibility to identity and meaning production.

  • Production

So as to produce an economically successful product, cultural meaning, values, and norms are the vital factor that needs to be considered. Production and the product’s dissemination occur less as transmission through continuous circular flow, such as ongoing dialogue. There is making it, distributing, and marketing it. When the culture structures the way individuals act, think, and feel, also it is required to consider how effectively to manage these cultural ways hence producing the desired outcome.

  1. Consumption

Represent an area where gender, ideology, power circulate, and social class circulates, thereby shaping each other.  It also entails the study of a particular representation, rituals, moments, rituals, and ideology. The social life of a commodity includes watching, reading. This aspect is never the process end though a setting off the other with increased comprehension.

  1. Regulation

Refers to some conditions, whether legal or illegal. It could be studied in two forms. Formalized government policies and regulation, and less formal and more abstract rendering of a certain pattern and order of signifying practices to consider in the industry. The two regulation forms are contested and dynamic. Markets never function independently, and they need policing and other cultural and social existence conditions that themselves can never provide. Hall suggests that markets regulate themselves and move in between different regulation modes, those of the state and the market.

Culture industry

The theory suggests that the culture industry refers to the economic field that is always concerned with producing, reproducing, storing, and distributing cultural services and goods on commercial and industrial terms. The industry produces these materials on a large scale with services and goods that are cultural by nature and are always protected through intellectual property rights for economic consideration instead of cultural development purposes. Max and Adorno suggest that these mass cultures are phenomena that arise spontaneously from the masses themselves, such as culture. Those in the culture industry exclude these notations and thus insist that these phenomena are manufactured.

These culture industries include television, text, music, movies, film, and the press. In other nations, fields like cultural tourism, advertising, architecture, and sport may be involved as additional value to the content and thus generate values for the societies and people. They are labor-intensive and knowledge-based, that create wealth and employment opportunities. Through nurturing creativity as well as fostering innovation, societies might maintain cultural diversity and foster economic performance. When the audience consumes the popular easy pleasure culture that is available through the mass communication media, it makes the individuals content and docile even through the difficult economic circumstances.

The negative effect of the culture industry is that it cultivates false psychological needs which might only be satisfied and met through capitalism products. Max and Adorno considered the mass production media a danger to the culture to the more intellectually and technically difficult high arts.

The mass communication media aim to appeal to the audience and hence intellectually stimulate high art and essential release low art. Marx explains that in the culture industry, those in superstructure utilize ideology to legitimize the hegemony position by imposing exploitation and violence, maintaining the disempowered group in its place. Those in the culture industry utilize the mass media to render the audience dormant so that they maintain their ruling position in society.

The mass culture they produce rob individuals of their imagination capability and control their thinking process for them. Movies are the best examples; all the films produced are the same in their basic structure. They are created to reflect as real facts as possible, including fantasy films that claim never to be reflecting reality; they never produce what they say. Even though they try to be, their endings are normally easy to predict because of their intention to impose on the audience.


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