© 2010

Media Literacy and Semiotics

  • Authors

Part of the Semiotics and Popular Culture book series (SEMPC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 11-35
  3. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 37-55
  4. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 57-74
  5. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 93-117
  6. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 119-138
  7. Elliot Gaines
    Pages 139-153
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 155-181

About this book


Media Literacy and Semiotics provides helpful tools to help readers think critically about the meaning of the media images they are exposed to on a daily basis. In this comprehensive book, a basic model of semiotic logic is applied to a variety of media studies to promote critical thinking and media literacy. Elliot Gaines systematically analyzes the hidden meanings in mass-mediated products and texts, and shows how basic meaning structures underlie everything from The Daily Show to television documentaries to infotainment.


culture ideology media media literacy Narrative semiotics space structure

About the authors

Elliot Gaines is Professor in the Department of Communications at Wright State University, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Media Literacy and Semiotics is an indispensable resource for scholars, students, and the general public because it demystifies the subtly disguised practices often employed by the media to promote lifestyle choices, consumerism, and ideologies that may have a detrimental effect on society. This volume provides a lucid presentation and discussion of the sometimes quite ingenious strategies and techniques exploited by the media to persuade the public to embrace a particular point of view, or to purchase a product or service. In this sense, it provides the reader with the necessary tools to engage in critical thinking to avoid these pitfalls. This book, in essence, teaches the reader how to analyze the media with a critical eye to the underlying meanings and messages conveyed. Elliot Gaines has written at length on critical literacy and his prose is always articulate and precise. This book continues this tradition." - Frank Nuessel, Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics, University Scholar, University of Louisville

"Professor Gaines' book is an erudite study of the pervasive influence of media on everyday life that uses a creative combination of theory and applied analysis to make a persuasive case for how the illuminating power of semiotics itself constitutes an advanced form of media literacy." - David Descutner, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication Studies, Ohio University