How is meaning generated? Illustrate your answer by presenting and explaining your 'reading' of an advertisement selected from a recent newspaper or magazine.

Essay by kirstin89College, UndergraduateA-, October 2007

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The notion of generating 'meaning' is indicative of the referent of a sign, the mental representation of an object or a word which is contained in our conceptual maps. They are the meanings which act at as a function of the denotations and connotations of subsequent signs, that is, they are subjective to concepts of myth and ideology . Though, the generation of meaning is most closely bound by the social constructs of language and culture as they provide a framework for representing experience. Here I will analyse how meaning is generated, whilst drawing upon these two concepts in light of the signs of a recent 'Ford' advertisement in a systematic approach to communication.

The context of culture, defined as: institutions, systems and structures (legal, political, religious, economic, educational etc.) of the producer and responder will affect the generation of meaning as context allows for alternative experiences to conflict. Meanings are essentially value burdened and as according to Saussure an object is a representation which is combined with a preconceived idea of the brain, to produce the signified, or rather, the meaning of the object only are related through the structure which we use.

However, an element of socialisation in culture and language are first essential to understanding how meaning is generated in order for these preconceived ideas to exist. Finkelstein and Goodwin suggest that cultural codes are used to stabilise meaning . In relation to the advertisement, fashion and clothing are used as a language tool to convey meaning to the viewer. Though it is apparent that her minimalist approach to dress in a western cultural context, indicate that government institutions promote ideas of autonomy rather than sexual repression. Henceforth, cultural subjectivity needs to be given weight when understanding how meaning is generated as each cultural context will construct...