Multimodal Discourse Analysis

Superior Essays
Is language the only means through which meaning can be conveyed? Society is constantly interpreting meanings from advertisements, publications, music, films, gestures and so forth. The ways in which the meaning-makers choose to convey meaning through discourse and texts is not random – It involves choice and selection. Gunther Kress, a professor of semiotics, suggests that language is not the only channel that can be used for meaning-making. This essay discusses the claim ‘choice leads to selection’ by drawing on the insights from Gunther Kress’ article ‘Multimodal Discourse Analysis’ and Multimodal Theory. This essay explains how meaning-making is achieved in light of multimodality. Relevant terms and concepts are explained and concrete illustrated …show more content…
Multimodality is a theory which looks at the many different modes that society uses for meaning making and interpretation. According to Royce and Bowcher (2014:4) a mode is defined as a communication channel that a culture recognises such as posture, gaze, colour, images, videos, etc. Modes are resources for making meaning. Theorists who study multimodality explain that in order to completely understand how meaning is conveyed in society it is important to recognise and observe the various modes that that are used for meaning-making. A good example of multimodality can be seen within a stop sign. The sign uses various modes to attract the attention of the viewer such as colour, font type and sometimes …show more content…
The purpose of the billboards is to attract the attention of viewers and convince them to go and spend money at a McDonald’s restaurant. The use of billboards as a mode was selected because of the environment – The advertisement is situated on the street. This means that many motorists and pedestrians will come into contact with it. Hatter (2017) explains that a benefit of having a billboard on the street is that many motorists and pedestrians will be exposed to it repeatedly. This means that they are more likely to go to the McDonald’s

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    These factors are known as multimodal factors and they contribute a lot in word selection and other communicative modes that the communicator chooses in order to send an understandable message to his or her recipient. This paper discusses how choice leads to selection in any multimodal space. The paper begins by defining what multimodality is and it concludes by explaining how multimodality influences the communicator’s choice and the selection of words. 2. WHAT IS MULTIMODALITY According to Liu (2013) “multimodality is the combination of different semiotic modes”.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Metaphors In Speech

    • 776 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Metaphors can be used both explicitly or inexplicitly, with the intent to create connections between words and concepts. It is the goal of Rhetoric scholars to analyze the carefully placed metaphors in pieces of work to see how they influence the…

    • 776 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A text has an “ideational” function through its representation of the world, an “interpersonal” function through social interactions between participants in discourse, and a “textual” function through uniting separate components into a meaning whole and combining this with a situational context. Likewise, Fairclough (1992) views any discursive event, or any instance of language use, as having three dimensions: text, interaction, and context. Text here can be expanded to semiosis, which is meaning-making through language, body language, visual images, or any other way of signifying. Text is also “an interaction between people, involving process of producing and interpreting the text, and it is part of a piece of social action—and in some cases virtually the whole of it” (Fairclough, 1992, p. 10). In other words, an interpretation of a text is the individual’s interaction with the text, which is part of social action or context.…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Introduction This essay will be discussing Multimodal discourse analysis looking at Gunther Kress’s article on discourse analysis and also looking at other theories of multimodality that can help explain how meaning making is achieved and use relevant examples as part of the discussion. Multimodal discourse analysis “choice leads to selection” Multimodal discourse analysis is the study of language not only through text and speech but mixed together with other tools or modes such as, pictures moving or still, sound, body movement or gestures, in order to express themselves, communicate or give meaning. Different modes have different ways of conveying meaning, these different ways of giving meaning influence the choice of which mode is needed for communication. The increase of technology and multimedia outlets people are able to use different modes to interact or communicate with each other and able to recognise the…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The map of sociological approaches, based on Johnson, Dandeker and Ashworth, involves four key concepts; standard positivism, social constructionism, critical realism and post structuralism. These theories help in the comprehension of sociological perspectives. Standard positivism’s main features relate to scientific methods and empiricism. Social constructionism’s main factors are to do with social construction of reality and social action being based on subjective meaning. Post-structuralisms key factors are culture being used to understand culture and the importance of language and discourse in the creation of reality.…

    • 1203 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The article by Clifford Geertz of “Common Sense as a Cultural System” causes a reader to understand and re-evaluate what for most is a simple thought process in which many people have to react to a given situation. Clifford Geertz takes this principle of human consciousness and researches the deeper understanding of this social construct. Geertz uses many examples to demonstrate the relevance of common sense, one of the main examples he uses to explore common sense is through the use of an anthropological perspective. Geertz will explain this theory with many types of ideology such as thought vs action, religion, and other forms of disciplinary frameworks. This understanding of the disciplinary frameworks allows Geertz to analyze common sense with many different lenses.…

    • 1194 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Herbert Blumer was a student of Meade’s, but formulated his own critical theory on the nature of human interactions, which he coined as symbolic interactionism. Blumer has numerous foundational elements to his examination of human interactions included in the book Symbolic Interactionism: (a) society exists in action and must be observed in terms of action; (b) individuals obviously interact with one another; (c) worlds are comprised of objects which can be material or abstract. Abstract materials are comprised of ideas or concepts, the meaning of which is endowed by the individual or group; (d) the collective are in fact objects onto themselves and are not simply organisms which respond, but rather organisms that also act on the environment;…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Next we need to understand how communication affects followers actions and ultimately, organizational success. Let’s take a look at a few communication concepts that will shed light on what we need to know. The Transactional Model. As leader-communicators, the transactional model of communication will help us understand the circular process of communication. This concept begins by understanding how to transfer predetermined symbols called language in a conscious manner that (1) creates meaning and a shared reality through manipulation; (2) communicates information and expectancy regarding the past, present and future; (3) analyzes current conditions; and (4) sets future agendas (Hackman & Johnson, 2003, p.…

    • 816 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    In this chapter basic aspects connected with the Cooperative Principle are to be elaborated. The concept of the Cooperative Principle will be discussed, as well as th four maxims, namely: the maxim of Quality, the maxim of Quantity, the maxim of Relevance and the maxim of Manner. 1.1. The Cooperative Principle In short, the Cooperative Principle is generally about communication. This theory, which tries to answer the question how people actually use the language, has been discussed by Grice (Levinson, 1983: 101).…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    During the process of finding the premises in an argument, a reader should identify the various reasons the writer has provided to back up his or her claim (Metzger 85). Premises are often introduced with words such as because, since and given that among others. A good argument should have premises as they help in supporting the writer’s claim by identifying the reasons the writer thinks his or her argument is valid. The process of analyzing arguments does not only require the identification of premises and conclusions but also identifying the premises and conclusions that the writer…

    • 962 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays