Meaning (HUM425)

The social meaning of an event is produced— in part by the images created and selected in an effort to represent it.  One of the insights of semiotics is that meaning is never intrinsic– somehow inside the thing under consideration– but is always the outcome of signification, a process that depends upon “common sense” in the form of conventions and codes. Meaning is also political. What an event means usually conditions choices about how we should respond to that event. Whose meaning will prevail?





A morning view of a memorial outside the Emanuel AME Church June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. US police arrested a white high school dropout Thursday suspected of carrying out a gun massacre at one of America's oldest black churches, the latest deadly assault to fuel simmering racial tensions. Authorities detained 21-year-old Dylann Roof, shown wearing the flags of defunct white supremacist regimes in pictures taken from social media, after nine churchgoers were shot dead during a Bible study class on Wednesday evening. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)