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Representation (System of…)

…“the relation between ‘things’, concepts and signs lies at the heart of the production of meaning in language. The process which links these three elements together is what we call ‘representation’.” 
—Stuart Hall

To represent something is to describe or depict it but also means to symbolize, stand for (e.g. in Christianity, the cross represents the suffering and crucifixion of Christ). A system of representation is a “system by which all sorts of objects, people and events are correlated with a set of concepts or mental representations which we carry around in our heads. It enables us to refer to things inside and outside of our head.” (Hall, 2003, p.16). It is called a system because it “consists not of individual concepts, but of different ways of organizing, clustering, arranging and classifying concepts and the complex relations between them.” (Hall, 2003, p.17). With language as the way to do a process of constructing meaning, “the relation between ‘things’, concepts and signs lies at the heart of the production of meaning in language. The process which links these three elements together is what we call ‘representation’.” (Hall, 2003, p.18).