Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols and signification. It is the study of how meanings are created, but not what is it. There are six principles of semiotics. These principles are to always question the “common sense” view of things, things appear naturally, all of our behavior in cultural practices the motive, a sign is a sort of cultural barometer, marking the dynamic movement of social history, the common sense viewpoint is usually motivated by a cultural interest that manipulates our consciousness and lastly we do not perceive our world directly but view it through the filter of a semiotic code.

In our Solomon Chapter 1 reading, he gives an example of how in orthodox Hinduism, a man must give up his power when he’s a boy, a man and he’s middle aged. He would give up his family, his life and become a beggar for “religious merit”. Today that doesn’t happen in Hinduism. We pray to God, celebrate the holidays and follow our values and culture. As shown below, Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, explains what semiotics is to Penny and how it’s on culture and the meaning of it. Sheldon questions the tie that is on his roommates door and asks Penny about it. It’s a non verbal sign and he wants to know the meaning of it.

Semiotics code is an interlinking of ideas and Sheldon tries to find out the meaning behind the tie. The tie on the door is a sign for a girl in his roommates room and he does not want to be disturb. This is how the sign is constructed by the perceiver. If this video could fit into the 6 principles of semiotics, it would be that the common sense viewpoint is usually motivated by a cultural interest that manipulates our consciousness.

This is shown in the Big Bang Theory somehow because Sheldon had no clue what the tie meant but Penny did. She says, “come on you went to college right?” Sheldon replies, “yes but I was 11?” This indicates that because Sheldon went to college so young, he never knew the college “language” but Penny did because she was exposed to that pop culture.

Source: Semiotics in The Big Bang Theory


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