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Title: Social semiotic analysis of political transformation in Poland : analysis of newspaper media from 1944 to 1991
Author: Lazuka-Dolan, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 5727
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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The purpose of this PhD thesis is to undertake a social semiotic analysis of Polish media in pre and post communism period. In particular the analysis aims at suggesting a number of strategies used in newspaper media at the multimodal level. The analysis takes place at a number of levels. First, I investigate the newspaper layouts. Here, I point to Kress and van Leeuwen's (1998: 186) claim that 'All texts are multimodal', a remark that further serves as a departure point for their analytical framework in which it is considered that '( ... ) layout simultaneously involves three signifying systems: information value, salience and framing' (1998: 188). Thus, the analysis of newspaper layout involves a reading of particular front pages through the above-mentioned framework. It also tries to investigate how the front page layout changed in time, especially in the light of history and politics during the time-period taken into consideration. Second, the analysis proceeds to discuss the use of visuals. Here, I point again to Kress and van Leeuwen's (1996, 2006) account of visual meaning and the way they extend Halliday's idea of linguistic 'metafunctions' and further apply it to images. Any image, they claim, both represents the world and allows for some kind of engagement with the viewer but also constitutes a particular kind of text. As such, I further analyze images as found on the front pages in light of the historical and political context of the times. The third part concerns the analysis of headlines. In particular it investigates transitivity choices made in headlines in the respective newspapers throughout the time period analyzed. The period chosen, i.e. 1944 - 1991, enabled me to investigate the use of semiotic resources across a variety of modes as found in three different newspapers (Trybuna Ludu, Wyborcza and Trybuna) throughout a number of crucial periods in Polish history. This begins with the period of the building of the Stalinist model of socialism, through to the erosion of that system and up to and during its final breakdown, culminating in political and, social transformation. The framework used for the analysis is that proposed by Kress and van Leeuwen i.e. social semiotic multimodality, according to which there exist a number of semiotic resources, characterized by certain meaning potential, that are further used as resources in the process of meaning production and the interpretation of messages. The findings suggest changes, at the multimodal level, are especially visible in the way these newspaper layouts have orientated their readers to the world, especially, by way of specific images, most notably pertaining to representations of the work place, childhood and ultimately history itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available