Signifier

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Signifier

 

the formal aspect of a linguistic sign. The signifier is inseparably linked to the other aspect of a sign, the signified. The signifier is an abstract unit of language that represents a class of entities—sometimes called signals—of the expression plane. Unlike the signal, which can transmit many concrete “messages,” a given signifier is such only in relation to a single signified.

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The narrative context for The Land of Spices thus serves to reinforce the undecidability of the individual enigmatic signifiers dispersed throughout the text.
Pluth discusses the concept of the act as radical negativity in Zizek, as event in Badiou, and as performance in Butler, to arrive at a free subject using signifiers without the guarantee of the Other, not bound to identification or a desire for recognition.
The point of the enigmatic signifier in an agnostic age is to be carefully suggestive, a distinct trace rather than a conventional denotation, an allusion rather than a clear sign.
So, Jonas' head moving down, and the stares by the other students communicating to the instructor and themselves perhaps that Jonas is not smart enough to be in their class, nay, in college, would require those signifiers or exactly those moments when those parts of their word use, gestures, and silent pauses put some of us in subject-positions to think and act on our thoughts verbally and non-verbally.
In Hurston's The First One and Miller's Riding the Goat, goats take center-stage in dramatizing the difficulties and arbitrariness of blackness signifiers.
But when the sign is not anchored to its referent, characterization of this kind is impossible, and emotion becomes a literal process of being moved, being caught up in the perpetual star-like motion of signifiers.
Terry Eagleton calls this a "circular" process in which "signifiers keep transforming into signifieds and vice versa," resulting in the inability to "arrive at a final signified which is not a signifier in itself" (111).
In a third form of master pedagogy, the teacher's desire is not to demonstrate his own personal greatness or the greatness of particular works, authors, or schools, but rather to establish the hegemony of certain master signifiers per se.
I am not a semiotician, but it is my understanding that a discontinuity between signifier and signified would be something of a semiotic paradox, as if there were some way that the signifier and signified could belong together if they did not agree or that a signifier could mean something it did not mean to mean, if signifiers were capable of meaning anything.
Nearly a century after the Indian Removal Act, the Native American returned to the South during the New Deal era in the form of signifiers in the literature of white southerners and as a source of renewed archaeological interest in excavations of cultural artifacts.
But Whacker is not simply a play on stereotypes; the video proffers an empty chain of narrativizing and scopophilic signifiers, with no underlying character per se.
The biblical accounts contained in Torah (where the land of Kush and its people is a fairly frequent reference--Moses himself supposedly was married to a Kushite woman, for one intriguing example) reveal no more "racism" (but the same "ethnocentrism") that we would find elsewhere in the Mediterranean (the author cites the work of Frank Snowden and Lloyd Thompson with approval); Kush and its inhabitants were made, early on, signifiers or images of "otherness" but not necessarily either identified as black-skinned or as particularly threatening; sometimes Kush indeed is confused with Canaan (itself a confused geographical and ethnic concept), and eventually, for more confusion, the Greek "Ethiopian" was added to the mix.