An Exploration of International Symbolic Imagery: Developing a Creative and Multicultural Approach for Electronic Media Criticism
This paper is part of an on-going project that looks at how ancient symbols from different cultures can be used to develop a critical cultural approach to studying television images. The value of this project lies in the investigation of creative ways to study visual electronic media in our multicultural world. Drawing from a variety of theorists, including Stuart Hall, as well as from American ethnic literature, it specifically discusses the development of a multicultural interpretive framework that incorporates American ethnic symbolism that can be applied to the semiotic deconstruction and interpretation of visual media texts. An interpretive analysis of some popular television reality shows is also offered. The author concludes by discussing the impact symbolic imagery has on the way viewers understand the messages being communicated to them, particularly as these messages shape how viewers make sense of different cultures in the U.S. and abroad.
Keywords: Symbols, Ethnic Symbolism, Semiotics, Television, Visual Electronic Media, Multicultural, Reality Television
Dr. Melissa Camacho
Associate Professor, Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts, San Francisco State University