Is there a hidden message in the meme you just liked on social media? Is myth essentially propaganda? According to Roland Barthes, myths occur when society’s dominant institutions imbue an image, object, or phrase with meaning. By forming these associations, the dominant social institutions create and reinforce cultural beliefs and values that are unconsciously adopted by the masses. In Mythologies, Barthes aims to open our eyes to these manipulations and teach us how to avoid them. Here’s an overview of the book.
Is there a myth behind children’s toys? What symbolic meaning does the Jeep brand carry? According to Roland Barthes, myths occur when society’s dominant institutions imbue an image, object, or phrase with meaning. Because myths are used to shape society, he believes it’s important to understand how myths are created and how they function. Keep reading for Barthes’s ideas on mythmaking.
What makes myths powerful? What’s the relationship between myth and meaning? Roland Barthes says that the images, objects, and stories we’re confronted with throughout the day are myths that contain subtle messages that subconsciously shape the way we view the world. He discusses the two basic elements of myth: form and concept. Read more to understand these basics of myth that inform how it’s used to shape society.
What’s a myth? How is a myth made and used? Are myths dangerous? According to 20th-century French philosopher Roland Barthes, myth is all around us. In Mythologies, he discusses the process of mythmaking. He identifies the basic components of myth and explains what function they have in society. He also warns that myths can pose certain dangers. Continue reading to understand Barthes’s take on myth.
Are there hidden messages in the way news is reported? What myths does Hollywood perpetuate? Many of Roland Barthes’s essays provide concrete examples of how myths are used to reinforce cultural norms and values. Particularly, these essays seek to unmask class, gender, race, beauty, and political constructs. Read more to see how Roland Barthes’s essays shed light on cultural myths.
How do cliques in high school affect children? What are some examples of high school cliques? In Smile, graphic artist Raina Telgemeier recounts her adolescence, including the struggles of trying to fit in when she felt self-conscious and excluded. The novel depicts her encounter with cliques in high school and Telgemeier’s experience of social exclusion. Keep reading for an example of Telgemeier’s account of high school cliques from her novel Smile.
What images, objects, and stories have you seen or heard today? What’s the real message of each meme, advertisement, and headline? In Mythologies, 20th-century French philosopher Roland Barthes says that all of these contain subtle messages that subconsciously shape the way you view the world. He calls these messages myths. Keep reading for a few Roland Barthes quotes from his essays in Mythologies, along with some context and explanation.
What is the new space race? Who is the race between? What does the future hold for space exploration? Space exploration largely faded into the background after the end of the Cold War, but it’s coming back with a vengeance. Participants in the new space race are vying for the advantages of establishing a space presence that could set them up for future success. Read on to learn more about what’s happening with the new space race and who’s involved.
What is the psychology behind prejudice? Why do people stereotype others? Being discriminatory toward others is a horrible thing, but some people try to excuse it. In Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson explain why some people’s brains stereotype others. Read more to learn the psychology of prejudice and why some people discriminate against others.
What’s going to happen to all of the empty office buildings in the U.S.? Is converting office to residential space a solution? Thanks to the remote and hybrid work trends, there’s a glut of office space in major metropolitan hubs that, left unaddressed, could turn big cities into wastelands. Converting vacant office space into residential use is one proposed solution. Read on to learn more about the benefits and challenges of converting office to residential space.