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RCP: 15.11.2010 Intertextuality, Hybridity and Genre

“Intertextuality emphasises that texts have context”   (Chandler: 201)

The main emphasis of this is that media texts have a context, which is part of a post-structuralist discourse, whereby messages are deconstructed to reveal a sign system made up of signifiers and signifieds, and then looked at in relation of exceeding authorial control, with preexisting discourses and media texts (languages) reducing authorial originality. It’s that we a re produced by language and live in a society full of media texts, so prominent that we can’t help but simply reproduce and regurgitate what has already been done or said. Roland Barthes describes this as the ‘Death of the Author’. Barthes then goes onto place more significance on the audiences reception and perception of media texts than the perceived authorial originality of the author. In application to my topic, I can intertextualise the image by looking pre-existing and co-existing imagery and ideas in society, as well as audience reception of the image to deduce meaning and intention this way.

The genre refers to shared codes in a sign system which may identify a genre as community of media texts. The hybridity of this is the blurring of these genres such as advertorials, docudramas, edutainment. “The Boundaries are Permeable” (Chandler pg 201) Chandler also explains intetextuality in that all texts are framed by other texts, ” no text is an island” (Chandler pg 199).

Chandler explained different intertextual types:

  • Intertextuality (quotation)
  • Paratextuality (belonging somewhere else and brought into media text, footnotes, captions, titles)
  • Architextuality (genre, architecture and formation of the text)
  • Metatextuality (critical commentary)
  • Hypotextuality (transformation and extension of the text)
  • Hypertextuality (hyperlinks in digital texts)

Chanlder also explained different degrees:

  • Reflexivity(self-consciousness)
  • Alteration (how much it has been changed)
  • Explicitness (how obvious it is)
  • Criticality to Comprehension ( how important cultural knowledge is needed to understand it)
  • Scale of Adoption (how much is used)
  • Structural Unboundedness (how untied it is to a larger structure, how hybrid)

These were in relation to media texts and their preexisting texts evident in the work.


  • Chandler, D (2002) Semiotics: The Basics Routledge

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