StOC2112 CH 5 & 6Spring 2011

StOC2112 CH 5 & 6Spring 2011 - StOC 2112 StOC...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: StOC 2112 StOC Preview Preview • Language and symbols • • • • • • The power of language Defining language Functional dimensions (syntax) Sematic dimensions Thematic dimensions Semiotic analysis Group Work (if time) The Centrality of Language Throughout history, the uniquely human ability to create symbols made possible all our major cultural advances and this is more true than ever in the current age of the Seven Faces of Persuasion. 3 The Power of Language allows for human communication affects emotions and/or intellect and sometimes has actual physical effects language is symbolic action, and that may be an explanation of why words have almost magical possibilities 4 The Power of the English Languag ranks the second only behind Chinese in number of native speakers international language of science, business, politics, diplomacy, literature, tourism, pop culture, and air travel. of the world’s richest vocabularies one non-native speakers report that English is the easiest second language to learn. 5 Language and Persuasion • The meaning of language is always culturally contingent and is therefore inherently persuasive People who control our words control our minds Language can also tell us a lot about the persuader's motives and reveals much through its verbal and visual symbols 6 • • Orwell & Newspeak From Nineteen Eighty-Four ◦ Newspeak is “Party’s” official version of English Book features “Hate Week” Population kept placated via: ◦ vast quantities of cheap drugs ◦ widespread pornography ◦ a national lottery ◦ steady, mindless entertainment Oceania is perpetually at war Newspeak cont’d. Orwell devotes essay to it at end of 1984 language minimalist ◦ “vocabulary gets smaller every year” Intended to align thought & action by: ◦ making “all other modes of thought impossible” ◦ designed to make certain words impossible, like “freedom” & “rebellion” Newspeak’s Structure Eliminate shades of meaning ◦ dichotomies only ◦ Reduce even dichotomies to single words that represented “yes” … ◦ So the Party could not be told “no” Redefine antonyms/synonyms ◦ bad = “ungood” ◦ better = “gooder” ◦ great = “plusgood” Newspeak: “Unperson” Commisar Yezhov before unpersonhood Commisar Yezhov After unpersonhood Newspeak and the Nazis Victor Klemperer Language of the Third Reich (1947) Nazis redefined words to give them “scientific”/neutral status not emotional ◦ murder became “special treatment” ◦ torture became “enhanced interrogation techniques” Resistance to oppression begins by questioning constant use of buzzwords Fromexerted neither by individual speeches Klemperer “… the most powerful influence was nor by articles or flyers, posters or flags; it was not achieved by things which one had to absorb by conscious thought or conscious emotions. Instead Nazism permeated the flesh and blood of the people through single words, idioms and sentence structures which were imposed on them in a million repetitions and taken on board mechanically and unconsciously. . . language does not simply write and think for me, it also increasingly dictates my feelings and governs my entire spiritual being the more unquestioningly and unconsciously I abandon myself to it. And what happens if the cultivated language is made up of poisonous elements or has been made the bearer of poisons? Words can be like tiny doses of arsenic: they are swallowed unnoticed, appear to have no effect, and then after a little time the toxic reaction sets in after all. The Third Reich coined only a very small number of the words in its language, perhaps - indeed probably - none at all. . . But it changes the value of words and the frequency of their occurrence, it makes common property out of what was previously the preserve of an individual or a tiny group, it commandeers for the party that which was previously common property and in the process steeps words and groups of words and sentence structures with its poison.” Doublespeak and Euphemism • “deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.” Ambiguity being unclear, vague, and general to allow for the broadest possible degree of common ground, identification, and co-creation of meaning. 15 Euphemism Terms of foreign and/or technical origin (copulation, prophylactic, urinate, security breach, incarcerate) Abbreviations (SOB for "son of a bitch", BS for "bullshit", TS for "tough shit", SOL for "shit outta luck") Abstractions (the situation, go, left the company, do it) Indirections (behind, privates, go to the bathroom, sleep together) Mispronunciation (goldarnit, dadgummit, freakin, shoot , shitake mushrooms) Making the offensive nicer associate: a low-level employee collateral damage: the killing of innocent bystanders enhanced interrogation: torture softening: the elimination of any barrier to a full-scale attack protective custody: imprisonment without due process of law Senator Orrin Hatch said that "capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life." Luntz on Language oil drilling global warming environmentalist tax cuts privatize estate tax energy exploration climate change conservationist tax relief personalize death tax Another Version Defining Language Defining A socially shared system of representation that employs arbitrarily assigned symbols & rule-governed combinations of those symbols. Defining Language Defining A socially shared employss arbitrarily Group talk to each other system of representation that Meaning constructed within and by groups assigned symbols & rule-governed combinations Everyone understands the rules, even if they can’t necessarily explain them of those symbols. Defining Language Defining A socially shared employs arbitrarily system of representation that A symbol is a combination of 2 things: SIGNIFIER + SIGNIFIED (the word) + (the thing itself) assigned symbols & Double arbitrary: rule-governedDenotation: Webster’s definition combinations of those symbols. Connotation: various meanings associated with the word. Dope Assigning Symbols Assigning Most are arbitrary ◦ No apparent relationship Some indexical ◦ More directly related Some iconic ◦ Very clearly related Governed by Rules Syntax: the way that a language derives meaning from structure. (e.g., Subject, verb, object) Semantic: the way that a language derives meaning from various societal functions. The Functional Dimension Words can do many things. They can: ◦ Identify causes and effects ◦ Create happiness or fear ◦ Lay or deflect blame 27 Tools for the Functional Dimension Syntax ◦ Word order can either alert or divert the reader/listener. ◦ Some persuaders place emotional or surprising words at the beginning of a sentence to reduce the impact of what follows. 28 Tools for the Functional Dimension Weaver's Grammatical Categories ◦ Simple Sentences ◦ Compound Sentences ◦ Nouns, Adjectives and Advertise 29 The Semantic Dimension Words can have many shades of meaning choice also provides clues about the source's underlying intentions. Word 30 General Semantics and Language Use Language appeals made by most persuaders ARE only maps or inner perceptions of places, persons, or things and not true territories all carry thousands of such maps or connotative metaphors around in our heads that represent incorrect or false territories. We 31 Semantic Terms Signal Response – when we react to these words as if they are true representations of the territories we imagine. 32 Semantic Terms • Extensional Devices - techniques for neutralizing or defusing the emotional connotations adding information meaningful to the receivers. ◦ Indexing – categorizing by adding specific information. ◦ Dating – setting up a timeframe. ◦ Quotation Marks - indicates that the sender is using quoted words in a particular way. 33 The Thematic Dimension some words also have a feeling, a texture, or a theme to them. Examples: ◦ Onomatopoeic words sound like their meaning ◦ Assonance, or the repetition of vowels or vowel sounds (e.g., low moans of our soldiers) ◦ Alliteration is similar except that it relies on the repetition of consonants 34 Metaphors 1.See "A" in terms of "B" 2. are verbal or visual 3. reveal underlying assumptions 4. Frame how we see the world Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was A Beer? Fill in the blank: That test was so ________. Archetypal Metaphors 1. light / dark / heaven/ hell/ birth/ death 2. resonate deeply 3. innate vs. cultural Question What are some of the other archetypal metaphors which we might encounter? Metaphor’s versus similies Unlike similes they imply an exact similarity not an approximate one and as a result similes always have the words “like” or “as” in them. 41 Tools for the Analysis of Metaphor A good and persuasive metaphor is one in which the vehicle can be readily and repeatedly “mapped” back to the tenor. concept Tenor: Vehicle: unlike thing meant to demonstrate concept 42 Tools for the Analysis of Metaphor The three questions to analyze the power of a metaphoric statement: 1.Is the statement figurative instead of literal? 2.Is it an equation in which its two parts are being made equal? 3.Can it be expanded figuratively? 43 “Ultimate” Terms god terms terms terms devil charismatic ◦ terms that are in vogue at the time Tools for the Thematic Dimension Sensory Language - words relating to one or more of the five senses to make a message more persuasive. 47 Tools for the Thematic Dimension Pragmatic and Unifying Styles – ◦ Pragmatic persuaders want to convince neutral or opposition listeners to change minds instead of reinforcing existing beliefs. ◦ Unifying persuaders want to motivate people who already believe what they're going to say by reinforcing beliefs. 48 MLK: I Have a Dream MLK: metaphor • archetypal metaphor • alliteration • sensory language • unifying style Semiotic Approach to Language Use all texts convey meaning through signs or signifiers. are the things (events, rules, etc.) to which the signifiers refer. interact with one another in meaningful and sophisticated, but not obvious, relationships Signifieds signifiers 50 Berger’s Methodology for Doing Semiotic Analysis 1. Isolate and analyze the important signs in the text 2. Identify the central structure, theme, or model of the text 3. Identify the narrative structure of the text 4. Determine whether the medium being used affects the text 5. Specify how the application of semiotic theory alters the original meaning ascribed to the text 51 Exercise slim Virginia Slims “slim” Slenderness Ideal in women Image or words “Virginia Slims” cigarette Virginia Slims Brand of cigarettes Slenderness Ideal in women smile Virginia Slims Image of smile Facial expression Happiness, pleasure Something we want Brand of cigarettes Happiness, pleasure Something we want Conclusion 1. Virginia Slims allows for happiness without gaining weight 1. The “all American” woman is slender, thin, and disciplined but still knows how to have a good time 2. Virginia Slims allows you be the all “American woman” Exercises QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Participation Assignment 1 find a persuasive artifact (an add, speech, etc.) prepare a 1-2 minute presentation that summarizes the persuasive artifact. is it effective/ineffective? does it use propaganda, double speak, etc? does it embody any or all of the 7 faces of persuasion? Assignment 1: Guidelines Break up into groups of three Pick a persuasion concept from the pile at the front of the classroom Prepare a 4-6 minute in class presentation ◦ Explain key concept(s) (2-3 min) ◦ Use an example to demonstrate (max 2 min) ◦ Offer some closing thoughts (1-2 minutes) Worth 10 participation points Present next week You decide how you want to communicate info Everyone in the group gets the same points Grading form posted on BB (later this week) ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 04/11/2011 for the course STRCC 2112 taught by Professor Joshhanan during the Spring '11 term at Temple.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online