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4. Key Ideas in Semiotics

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About this Lecture


In this module, we look at some of the key ideas in semiotics. In particular, we will focus on: (i) how semiotics underscores the importance of considering different audience interpretations of signs, codes, and symbols; (ii) how the repetition of ideas can lead to the acceptance of myths as truths, like gender roles portrayed in advertisements; (iii) how historic ads reinforced stereotypes, depicting women as homemakers and inferior to men, perpetuating gender-based myths; (iv) how adverts like ones for men's hair care show men as dominant and women as subservient; and (v) how examples from past and present advertising reveal how myths about women's physical weakness and traditional roles are perpetuated through visual imagery and headlines.


In this lecture, Carl Jones (University of Westminster) will discuss semiotics. In the first module, we look at how semiotics is connected to media studies. After this, we will look at the semiotics thinker Roland Barthes. Then, we will look at some definitions and applications in the field of semiotics. In the fourth module, we look at some of the key ideas in semiotics. Then, we look at how we carry out semiotic analysis in media studies. Finally, we look at critiques of Barthes, other semiotics thinkers, and some new approaches.


Carl Jones is senior lecturer in media and communication at the University of Westminster. He specialises in advertising and semiotics in media studies. With this in mind, he has published widely including ‘Racism and classism in Mexican advertising’ (2019) and ‘Decoding myth-making through Semiotics in-order to Decolonize advertising (2023). He was also guest editor for Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture: Advertising for the Human Good (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jones, C. (2023, August 17). Semiotics - Key Ideas in Semiotics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jones, C. "Semiotics – Key Ideas in Semiotics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Aug 2023,