Summary_3_Baudrillard - Samir Patel 1 SOC_169_W11 Summary 3...

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Samir Patel SOC_169_W11 1 Summary 3 – Baudrillard Summary Jean Baudrillard discusses the interaction between reality, symbols and society. Simulacra and Simulation is most known for its discussion of images, signs, and how they relate to the present day. Baudrillard claims that modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that the human experience is of a simulation of reality rather than reality itself. He argues that the days do not exist anymore where signs conveyed simple and clear meaning. Because of mass media consumer goods take on multiple meanings or have no stable meaning at all. An example of this is "imagistic advertising" – rather than focus on clear-cut evaluation as to price and quality of a product, imagistic advertising encourages emotional engagement as well as unconscious desires and compels consumers to organize and find identity in cultural products. The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are signs of culture and media that create the perceived reality. In Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulations, he theorizes the emergence of a new theory of signification, one that resembles the Saussurean system of signs in reverse. Baudrillard’s theory of simulation, which holds that the ordering of the basic elements of signs, usually considered in terms of signified preceding the signifier, is not revered in the postmodern society such that the signifier, the image, the symbol, the icon, and index, precedes the signified, the real basis of the sign, and where any concept of the real, or of meaning or history, has been eroded. Furthermore, in a society where a constant flow of images via mass media and mass communication becomes part of everyday life, we are treated to an endless barrage of signs which we accept, not as being real, but as Baudrillard would argue, as supplanting the real. The real loses its meaning, and what we believe and deal with are simulacra. Baudrillard would, as Jameson did, relate this idea to history.
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SOC_169_W11 2 Outline Précis of 5 key works of Baudrillard o Simulacra and Simulations Simulation: process in motion o The System of Objects o Utopia Deferred: Writings from the Utopie o Symbolic Exchange o The Spirit of Terrorism “Baudrillard’s indebtedness to Saussure and semiotics is clear as he explores the system of signs through which every objects are attributed cultural meaning and symbolic value.” (Baudrillard p. 414) Today, reality has been replaced by sign systems that recodify and supplant the real. Simulation precedes and determines the real. Mass media shapes these symbols as agents of representation, not communication. o It also creates a new culture of signs, images and codes without Table 1 Baudrillard’s Theory of the “Orders of Simulacra” (Baudrillard p. 417). Dominant
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Summary_3_Baudrillard - Samir Patel 1 SOC_169_W11 Summary 3...

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