Narrative Analysis Review
- Approach a communication phenomenon as a sign system.
- Identify the (smallest) separate expressions (signifiers ) of meaning such as words, sounds, and images.
- Each type of sign may produce separate or complimentary meanings. Identify anchoring or intended meanings, but analyze the other available signs first.
- Recognize and identify how a sign communicates as icon, index, or symbol, and determine the significance, if any, of the importance of that type of sign in relation to its meaning.
- Try to find the most basic denotative meaning of images, for example, before interpreting the words (which are intended to communicate the meaning of accomanying images or sounds).
- The semiotic method applied to (media) narrative analysis:
- Audio must be analyzed through its temporality--that is, it must be explored over time. The smallest unit of image, however, is the single frame which will embody a sign system. As explained above, separate different forms of expression for analysis. First analyze individually, then together.
- Describe the story at the denotative level as a chronological sequence of events.
- Describe the characters and existents and the connotation of events through appropriate application of theoretical perspectives.
- Draw conclusions as to the meaning, purpose, or influence or the narrative.
- Demonstrate understanding of theory by applying it to specific narrative moments.
- The explication of theory, and the use of specific theoretical terms takes place only where it informs the analysis.
- Use only what best facilitates the enlightenment of the reader with insights inherent in the terms or application of theory.
- Stories frequently begin with conflict (disequilibrium). In the quest for resolution the narrative harkens back to a past moment of equilibrium.
- *Theories and terms imbricate. Choose only appropriate methods of analysis. Connotation and interpellation can overlap.
Polysemy and interpellation can overlap.
Dominant ideology and a preferred meaning (encoded) are not necessarily the same.
- *Hegemony is a competition for dominance of beliefs and ideologies by persuasion, not coercion, especially as adapted by a subordinate group.
- *The author/producer of a narrative encodes meaning, not the narrator in the story.
- *Circulation of meaning takes place in the audience, not the text. *The audience reads and decodes the text, not the characters in the story.
- *polysemy is not encoding nor decoding, but the theoretical possibility for multiple meanings/interpretation.
- *interpellation is the process of interpretation through personal perspectives. identity, and experience, including age, race, class, gender.
- *Denotative text may need to be expressed in great detail.
- *the connotative text--implied or secondary--may be expressed briefly through use of loaded descriptive terms such as; religious, patriotic, faithful, codes of masculinity/femininity, bravery, honor, respect, intelligence.