NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED213053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Myth in the Discourse.
Breen, Myles; Corcoran, Farrel
Reflecting the ideas of Roland Barthes, this paper examines the nature and importance of myth as a type of speech. The investigation proceeds by discussing myth from the perspectives of both traditional and contemporary disciplines, then considers the universality of myth, its religious impulse, and its functions. Using examples from television news coverage (the Iranian crisis) and popular culture (other television programing, such as soap operas and situation comedies like "All in the Family," and the John Wayne myth), the paper delineates several functions of myth: (1) to interpret and fit unfamiliar situations into old symbolic molds; (2) to create exemplary models for a whole society by translating a single life-history into an archetype; (3) to construct a "language of argument," whereby conflict is presented and mediated, such as the resolution of contemporary social problems in the science fiction series "Star Trek"; and (4) to organize reality, history, and experience into recognizable patterns. The paper also examines the ways in which culture, myth, ritual, and ideology are entwined, and postulates the effects of challenging myths, creating myths, and destroying myths (demythologizing). In this last respect, and noting that myths must be unrecognized as being such to be potent, the paper questions the role of the communication scholar in exposing myths to public scrutiny. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Barthes (Roland)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Milwaukee, WI, April 15-17, 1982).