Week Two: Images, Power & Politics Reading Questions/Activities
Signifier – It’s straightforward. You’re slapped across the face with “It’s not for women” right next to some Diet Dr Pepper.
Signified – It projects sexism. It aims for the male demographic by completely alienating the women demographic.
Sign – By saying “It’s not for women”, Dr Pepper is somewhat challenging men to buy the drink to prove how much of a man you really are. It even could be aiming slightly at women with the reverse psychology angle. Women might want to prove the ad wrong and play right into the hands of the marketing team at Dr Pepper.
Denotative meaning – The advertisement is stating the drink is not made for women.
Connotative meaning – It’s playing to the stereotype that society has that men are stronger, more powerful and tougher than women.
Michael Jordan is an icon. He started as a third overall pick going to the Chicago Bulls and now he’s a household name around the world. When he went to Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics, he was by far the most popular player there. If you ask anyone to name a basketball player, they will say Michael Jordan. His influence hasn’t stopped there. Current greats like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade are judged by the standards he created. He has people killing others for shoes he wears.
Representation – This refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world. There are many systems of representations (film, paintings, fashion, etc.). ‘Modern Family’ is a show on ABC that (somewhat) breaks away from the ‘one mom, one dad, couple children’ mold that’s been on television since ‘Leave It to Beaver’. Sure there’s a family that represents the traditional family but there’s also a gay couple with a child and an older man with a woman half his age. It’s showing that not everyone has a traditional family and that’s just fine.
Myth – A myth is a story passed down from many generations that usually explained something that wasn’t easily explainable by humans without science long ago (such as how the world began, rain, death, etc.). Christianity and all other religions are myths because they cannot be proven true (with facts) but they also can’t be proven false. Christianity, like most myths, tell a story of how the world supposedly started and also tells exaggerated stories in order to teach people morals the creators of the myth thought were important.