Written Assignment #1
This assignment is based on the reading: “The Work of Representation” by Stuart Hall and the film “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women”
In your own words, what does representation mean? Your answer here only has to be 1-3 sentences.
Hall uses this idea of representation to discuss how people can share a system of meaning and understanding. He calls this culture. On page 7, Hall states: “One way of thinking about ‘culture’ then is in terms of these shared conceptual maps, shared language systems and the codes which govern the relationships of translation between them.”
On page 10, Hall reviews theories of representation. The most important theory for us to understand for culture and popular culture is the “constructionist approach” (p. 11). In your own words, explain the constructioninst approach to meaning in language using the example of traffic lights. Your answer here should be approximately 1 paragraph.
Finally, watch the video Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women. On page 23, Hall discusses the way that language and representation work through culture to both “denote” and “connote” (p. 23). If the advertisements shown in Killing Us Softly denote the products that are being sold, what do they connote? That is, what is the more subtle thing that is being sold through these videos and images? Use examples from the film to supplement your answer. Your answer here should be approximately 200 words.