'Wag the Dog'?

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How can a post-structuralist view of meaning relate to the way public opinion is understood and managed in reference to the movie 'Wag the Dog'?


Post-Structuralist View of Meaning




How Public Opinion is Understood and Managed in

"Wag the Dog"

Wag The Dog





4.0 Conclusion


The way society attributes meaning and creates public opinion is in fact a reflection on the concept that any form of reality has become redundant. A person understands what is real to them through their personal interpretation and simulation of an issue as a reflection of their cognitive system, that is the way they read signs and symbols through their cultured belief and value systems.

Post-structuralism analyses how a person's semiotic nature is mediated by principles of language, subjectivity and images that in turn effect the way a text is made real and true to the reader.

The movie "Wag the Dog" is a satirical dramatisation of the implications of the public communication industry's effect on what the public conceives as reality. Through a semiotic analysis of the language, subjectivity and imagery used in the formation of what is 'real' in "Wag the Dog", issues are raised in regards to who really has the power and control over the dissemination of information. Furthermore, the extent to how truthful such information is and how it in turn impacts on the understanding and management of public opinion.

2.0 Post -Structuralist View of Meaning

2.1 Language

The analysis of language is an element of post-structuralist theory which assists in understanding how people make meaning from texts. "Language woks through semiosis... sign and referent are bought together by the process of semiosis." (Sless 1986:91) Thus, the meaning derived from a text can often be a direct reflection...