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Author

Roland Barthes

Bio: Roland Barthes is an academic researcher from Kenyon College. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Criticism & Pleasure. The author has an hindex of 57, co-authored 195 publication(s) receiving 24529 citation(s).


Papers
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Book
01 Jan 1977

3,313 citations

Book
01 Jan 1980
Abstract: Barthes shares his passionate, in-depth knowledge and understanding of photography. Examining the themes of presence and absence, the relationship between photography and theatre, history and death, these 'reflections on photography' begin as an investigation into the nature of photographs. Then, as Barthes contemplates a photograph of his mother as a child, the book becomes an exposition of his own mind.

1,986 citations

Book
01 Jan 1973
Abstract: Affirmation babel prattle edges brio split community body commentary drift expression right exchange hearing emotion boredom inside out exactitude fetish war image-reservoirs intertext isotrope tongue reading mandarinate modern nihilism nomination obscurantism oedipus fear sentence pleasure politics daily recuperation representation oppositions dream science significance subject theory value voice.

1,530 citations

01 Jan 1967
Abstract: In his story Sarrasine Balzac, describing a castrato disguised as a woman, writes the following sentence: ‘This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility.’ Who is speaking thus? Is it the hero of the story bent on remaining ignorant of the castrato hidden beneath the woman? Is it Balzac the individual, furnished by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it Balzac the author professing ‘literary’ ideas on femininity? Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology? We shall never know, for the good reason that writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin. Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing. No doubt it has always been that way. As soon as a fact is narrated no longer with a view to acting directly on reality but intransitively, that is to say, Vnally outside of any function other than that of the very practice of the symbol itself, this disconnection occurs, the voice loses its origin, the author enters into his own death, writing begins. The sense of this phenomenon, however, has varied; in ethnographic societies the responsibility for a narrative is never assumed by a person but by a mediator, shaman or relator whose ‘performance’—the mastery of the narrative code—may possibly be admired but never his ‘genius’. The author is a modern Vgure, a product of our society insofar as, emerging from the Middle Ages with English empiricism, French rationalism and the personal faith of the Reformation, it discovered the prestige of the individual, of, as it is more nobly put, the ‘human person’. It is thus logical that in literature it should be this positivism, the epitome and culmination of capitalist ideology, which has attached the greatest importance to the ‘person’ of the author. The author still reigns in histories of literature, biographies of writers, interviews, magazines, as in the very consciousness of men of letters anxious to unite their person and their work through diaries and memoirs. The image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centred on the author, his person, his life, his tastes, his passions, while criticism still consists for the most part in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of Baudelaire the man, Van Gogh’s

1,491 citations

Book
01 Jan 1967
Abstract: In his Course in General Linguistics, first published in 1916, Saussure postulated the existence of a general science of signs, or Semiology, of which linguistics would form only one part. Semiology therefore aims to take in any system of signs, whatever their substance and limits; images, gestures, musical sounds, objects, and the complex associations of all these, which form the content of ritual, convention or public entertainment: these constitute, if not languages, at least systems of signification. There is no doubt that the development of mass communications confers particular relevance today upon the vast field of signifying media, just when the success of disciplines such as linguistics, information theory, formal logic and structural anthropology provide semantic analysis with new instruments. There is at present a kind of demand for semiology, stemming not from the fads of a few scholars, but from the very history of the modern world. The fact remains that, although Saussure’s ideas have made great headway, semiology remains a tentative science. The reason for this may well be simple. Saussure, followed in this by the main semiologists, thought that linguistics merely formed a part of the general science of signs. Now it is far from certain that in the social life of today there are to be found any extensive systems of signs outside human language. Semiology has so far concerned itself with codes of no more than slight interest, such as the Highway Code; the moment we go on to systems where the sociological significance is more than superficial, we are once more confronted with language. it is true that objects, images and patterns of behaviour can signify, and do so on a large scale, but never autonomously; every semiological system has its linguistic admixture. Where there is a visual substance, for example, the meaning is confirmed by being duplicated in a linguistic message (which happens in the case of the cinema, advertising, comic strips, press photography, etc.) so that at least a part of the iconic message is, in terms of structural relationship, either redundant or taken up by the linguistic system. As for collections of objects (clothes, food), they enjoy the status of systems only in so far as they pass through the relay of language, which extracts their signifiers (in the form of nomenclature) and names their signifieds (in the forms of usages or reasons): we are, much more than in former times, and despite the spread of pictorial illustration, a civilisation of the written word. Finally, and in more general terms, it appears increasingly more difficult to conceive a system of images and objects whose signifieds can exist independently of language: to perceive what a substance signifies is inevitably to fall back on the individuation of a language: there is no meaning which is not designated, and the world of signifieds is none other than that of language. Thus, though working at the outset on nonlinguistic substances, semiology is required, sooner or later, to find language (in the ordinary sense of the term) in its path, not only as a model, but also as component, relay or signified. Even so, such language is not quite that of the linguist: it is a secondorder language, with its unities no longer monemes or phonemes, but larger fragments of discourse re-

1,399 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: (1995). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. History of European Ideas: Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 721-722.

13,241 citations

Book
01 Jan 1991
Abstract: What makes us modern? This is a classic question in philosophy as well as in political science. However it is often raised without including science and technology in its definition. The argument of this book is that we are modern as long as we split our political process in two - between politics proper, and science and technology. This division allows the formidable expansion of the Western empires. However it has become more and more difficult to maintain this distance between science and politics. Hence the postmodern predicament - the feeling that the modern stance is no longer acceptable but that there is no alternative. The solution, advances one of France's leading sociologists of science, is to realize that we have never been modern to begin with. The comparative anthropology this text provides reintroduces science to the fabric of daily life and aims to make us compatible both with our past and with other cultures wrongly called pre-modern.

8,597 citations

Book
01 Jan 1990

3,545 citations

Book
18 Aug 2002
Abstract: Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method is a systematic introduction to discourse analysis as a body of theories and methods for social research. It brings together three central approaches, Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory, critical discourse analysis and discursive psychology, in order to establish a dialogue between different forms of discourse analysis often kept apart by disciplinary boundaries. The book introduces the three approaches in a clear and easily comprehensible manner, explaining the distinctive philosophical premises and theoretical perspectives of each approach as well as the methodological guidelines and tools they provide for empirical discourse analysis. The authors also demonstrate the possibilities for combining different discourse analytical and non-discourse analytical approaches in empirical study. Finally, they contextualize discourse analysis within the social constructionist debate about critical social research, rejecting the view that a critical stance is incompatible with social constructionist premises and arguing that critique must be an inherent part of social research.

3,354 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In this paper, we review and analyze the emerging network paradigm in organizational research. We begin with a conventional review of recent research organized around recognized research streams. Next, we analyze this research, developing a set of dimensions along which network studies vary, including direction of causality, levels of analysis, explanatory goals, and explanatory mechanisms. We use the latter two dimensions to construct a 2-by-2 table cross-classifying studies of network consequences into four canonical types: structural social capital, social access to resources, contagion, and environmental shaping. We note the rise in popularity of studies with a greater sense of agency than was traditional in network research.

2,714 citations