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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 17, 2011

Self-referential postmodernity

Winfried Nöth
From the journal


Contrary to the early media semioticians' claim that semiotics is a metalanguage of the media and the media are a metalanguage of reality, the present paper gives evidence of how the media represent a world that is itself highly mediated. It is argued that media representations involve self-referential loops in which communication turns out to be communication about communication, reports are reports about reports, and mediations are mediations of mediations. Self-reference in the media is interpreted as a symptom of postmodernity with its tendency towards historical self-reflection in scenarios in which even catastrophic current events are being interpreted as mere media events or even déjà-vu scenarios in a culture in which everything seems to have been said and shown before.

Published Online: 2011-03-17
Published in Print: 2011-February

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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