Semiotics is a key theory that underpins Media Studies as well as other cultural, linguistic and communications studies (think: Photography, English Language, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Communication Studies etc). As such, there are a number of key thinkers, key words and key ideas that you need to know as part of and as a foundation to, any of these courses.
Semiotics is the ‘study of signs’ and is often associated with thinkers such as Saussure, Peirce, Voloshinov and Barthes. Briefly put, semiotics is ‘the study of the relations between the elements which compose a symbolic form or sign, and of the relations between these elements and those of a broader system.’ (Thompson 1990:285)
In other words, it is looking at a symbolic form or sign and deconstructing each element within the form or sign and then looking to understand what kind of broader system that they might fit into . . . 🤗