NEW TO THIS EDITION: A new chapter on discourse analysis offers students techniques for analyzing the language in texts. New content on psychological impact of social media shows that there are often negative consequences to using social media. Increased coverage of technology and social media helps readers apply time-tested analysis techniques to the latest media. Updated examples from popular culture bring theory to life. New drawings and photo images illustrate concepts and enhance the visual attractiveness of this book. New material addresses generational differences and presents to students how each generation interacts with media differently, particularly the millennials. New discussions by thinkers who have made major impacts on popular culture, such as Daniel Chandler on semiotic codes Michel Foucault on change in cultures Mark Gottdiener on sign vehicles in semiotic theory Guy Debord on the Society of the Spectacle Mark Thompson et al on Marx's neglect of egalitarian political culture Marcel Danesi on myth and popular culture Ernest Kris on the Oedipus Complex Sigmund Freud on the purposes of jokes Clotaire Rapaille on the new “Global code” Teun van Dyk on discourse analysis and ideology Wolfgang Iser on reception theory KEY FEATURES: End-of-chapter study resources help students practice media analysis and focus on and retain important topics. Vivid applications from popular culture link theory to practice through teaching games and activities that show readers how to apply theories and concepts to various kinds of texts. A comprehensive glossary serves as a ready reference for students.
This chapter examines Murder on the Orient Express and classic murder mysteries in general from semiotic and Marxist points of view. The chapter includes discussion of how Agatha Christie violates the “code” of the single murderer and how mysteries are, in fact, problems in applied semiotics that readers or viewers often cannot solve because they either neglect or misinterpret the signifiers (clues) that are provided. The elements of class conflict found in mysteries are also discussed, as well as the role these elements may play in diverting people’s attention and mystifying them. Finally, it is suggested that, ironically, mysteries may have a revolutionary element implicit in their structure.