What is a Master-Signifier?

The master-signifier is a signifier that points to itself instead of other signifiers. Žižek refers to Marx’s conception of commodity fetishism as an example of a master-signifier: Money refers to value as such, and all other commodities are thought of in terms of how much money one can get for them.

What does master signifier mean?

From Lacan we also know that the master signifier(s) is the dominant factor that gives meaning and signification to the signifying process, for instance, masculinity, femininity, God, democracy and so on are all master signifiers that make the messages in language understandable.

What does Lacan mean by signifier?

Lacan defines a signifier as “that which represents a subject for another signifier,” in opposition to the sign, which “represents something for someone.” To be more precise, one signifier (called the master signifier, and written ) represents the subject for all other signifiers (written ).

What is a signifier in psychology?

A signifier, an element of language, is a material representation of a linguistic sign. In psychoanalysis, it is a phonemic sequence of the discourse that intervenes in conscious and unconscious processes to determine the subject engaged in the discourse.

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What is a free floating signifier?

A floating signifier (also sometimes referred to as an empty signifier, but Ernesto Laclau separates both concepts) is a signifier without a referent in semiotics and discourse analysis, such as a word that points to no actual object and has no agreed upon meaning.

What is meant by signifier?

Definition of signifier

1 : one that signifies. 2 : a symbol, sound, or image (such as a word) that represents an underlying concept or meaning — compare signified.

What is signifier example?

A signifier is an additional piece of information that supports an affordance. Example: The chair has a balloon tied to it, implying that it is reserved for some special occasion. Example: The button is greyed out, suggesting it is inactive.

What is another word for signifier?

What is another word for signifier?

indication mark
signal indicator
manifestation suggestion
attestation demonstration
proof augury

What is the difference between an affordance and a signifier?

An affordance is something an object (or dashboard) can do. A tap/faucet can run hot or cold water, for example. A signifier is an indicator of some sort. In our tap example, this might be red/blue dots signifying which way to turn the tap to get hot or cold water.

What is a floating signifier example?

Democracy is a good example of a floating signifier that can become empty because it is open to contestation and articulation in radically different political projects – that is, it has one meaning for a certain group and the opposite meaning for another.

What does it mean to say that race is a floating signifier?

Du Bois, Hall concludes that because the meaning of race is never fixed but is dependent upon cultural context, it can be described as a “floating signifier.” Includes a question and answer period at end of lecture and an interview with Hall by Sut Jhally. 1996. 85 min.

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What is Stuart Hall’s position on race?

STUART HALL: Though race cannot perform the function it was asked to do by providing the truth and fixing that truth beyond the shy of a doubt. It is difficult to get rid of because it is so difficult in the languages of race to do without some kind of foundation or guarantee.

What is a race of people?

Race is defined as “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.” The term ethnicities is more broadly defined as “large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background.”