Media semiotics

An introduction

By Jonathan Bignell

Media semiotics

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6205-6
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £12.99
  • Published Date: April 2002
  • BIC Category: The arts / Film theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media


Media semiotics is a lucid investigation of the critical approach in contemporary media studies. Using examples such as Big Brother and Billy Elliot, Jonathan Bignell steps easily from basic concepts to more complex theories, while devoting chapters to specific media forms. New material in this second edition includes sections on men's style magazines, docusoaps and 'reality TV', digital interactive television, and mobile phone text messaging.

This study begins by explaining the concept of the sign and the ideological roles of media in contemporary culture. The book then scrutinises advertisements, glossy magazines, daily newspapers, TV programmes, recent films and interactive media, with each chapter containing close analyses of particular examples. Key strands in critical theory which are allied to semiotics, such as ideology and psychoanalytic theory are explored. Media semiotics moves on to discuss the challenges to established semiotic methods posed by audience studies and postmodernism, and considers 'new media', including computer games, the Internet and the World Wide Web.


Jonathan Bignell's comprehensive, intelligent and readable introduction to semiotics is ahead of the field in clarity, in its astutue use of contemporary examples, and in his openness to both the latest theoretical developments and the criticisms of semiotics theory launched over the last decade by media sociologists.| suited to upper-level undergraduates and keen graduate students in media/cultural studies, providing an accessible and lucid overview of things they should really know about.


1. Signs and myths
2. Advertisements
3. Magazines
4. Newspapers
5. Television news
6. Television realisms
7. Television fictions
8. Cinema
9. Interactive media


Jonathan Bignell is Senior Lecturer in Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London

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