Ethnographic Semiotic Analysis

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A more common introduction to anthropology from the stand point of most individuals is through television programs and films, especially ethnographic films because they provide an insight into societies otherwise unknown. However, visual anthropology constitutes a much broader notion than ethnographic films. It is reflective and encompasses a much wider array of study within the context of visual systems. Societies over time have been known to make visible, certain aspects of their norms, cultural understandings and their social life. Visual anthropology is focused on the in-depth understanding of such art. This literature aims to analyze as well as discuss the relationship that exist between photography and the social sciences approached…show more content…
Before his death, Worth presented a paper titled “Ethnographic Semiotics.” In his paper, Worth suggested that scholars interested in the study of meaning via sign systems should focus their attention away from personal analysis of cultural texts to a more conceptualized notion of ethnographic study on the many ways people make meaning of their everyday lives. The concept of Ethnographic semiotics is based upon a stipulated semiotic approach: one that advocates a theory of signs and symbols that is less dependent upon the structural paradigms of linguistics and is more concentrated on an inclusive and broader or more general science of sign models. This notion is equally based on the assumption that the support for any semiotic analysis is propagated in the information that is generated from the domain of research as opposed to the elegance of the researcher’s debate or point of…show more content…
This particular study is unique in the sense that it differs sufficiently in its orientation and basic assumptions. There is a virtual famine of anthropological studies of mass media (Gans, 1974). A large portion of mass media, mass culture, mass communication and popular culture are founded on non-anthropological definition of culture that intermittently differ from the definition within this research. Our notion of visual entities as earlier said is characterized by critical assessments and evaluations of elite scholars. These studies often focus on the effects of mass media on society and adopt empirical methods. Gerbner et al (1978) point out that the problem of studying the effects of television is compounded by the fact that in today’s modern society, nearly everyone lives to a certain degree in a world of television. The lack of such control groups of non-viewers suggest that it is difficult to isolate the impact and implications of
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