Myth in media analysis refers to how words and images are systematically used to communicate cultural and political meanings, in texts such as advertisements, magazines, films, or TV programs. Studying myth uses the methodology of semiotics (Bignell 2002), which proposes that our perception and understanding of reality is constructed by words and other signs, hence my reference to media products as “texts.” Semiotics originates mainly in the writings of Ferdinand de Saussure (1915/1974) and Charles Peirce (1958), for whom linguistics was the foundation for the science of how signs mean. For example, the linguistic sign “men” denotes a group of people distinct from “women.” What makes the sign “woman” meaningful is the culturally contingent distinction between “man” and “woman” that might attribute different legal or religious status, or different rules of behavior, for example, to each gender. Thought and experience, indeed our very sense of our own identity, are formed in and through the systems of signs in a society. So understanding the mythologies built in the media through the articulation of those signs is the first step toward analyzing society, and changing it. There is nothing more important, and so there has been extensive work on media myths, including...

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