binary opposition

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(semiotics) A pair of mutually-exclusive signifiers in a paradigm set representing categories which are logically opposed and which together define a complete universe of discourse: for example, alive or dead. In such oppositions each term necessarily implies its opposite and there is no middle ground. See also alignment; analogical thinking; binarism; contradiction; deconstruction; dualism; gender; great divide theories; markedness; myth; other; paradigm; semiotic square; structuralism; structure; universalism; valorization.

Subjects: Literature — Media Studies.

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