semiology


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semiology

or

semiotics

the general science of SIGNS, whether these signs appear in language, in literature or in the world of artefacts. As an aspect of STRUCTURALISM, semiology evolved from the linguistic studies of SAUSSURE. Its leading exponent was Roland BARTHES.

Although the idea of a general science of signs first appeared at the turn of the century in the work of Saussure, it was not until the 1960s, and in the fields of MASS MEDIA research and CULTURAL STUDIES that the idea was developed. In the realm of cultural studies semiology has involved the study of areas ignored by other disciplines (e.g. eating habits) and opened up the question of the relationships between cultural codes and power relationships. Its key concepts are the signifier (a thing, word or picture) and the signified (the mental picture or meaning indicated by the signifier), and the sign is the association or relationship established between them (see also SIGNIFIER AND SIGNIFIED). Some relationships may be fairly direct (iconic) and others may involve considerable mediation because of their arbitrariness. Semiology draws attention to the layers of meaning which may be embodied in a simple set of representations (e.g. the representations of’Christmas’ on greetings cards: Santa, Merrie England, Virgin and Child, fluffy animals, and so on). Barthes said that signs communicate latent as well as manifest meanings. They can signify moral values and they can generate feelings or attitudes in the viewer (e.g. a photograph of a Rottweiler = dog = power, a fighting dog = threat to children). Thus signs may be collected and organized into complex codes of communication. See also BRICOLAGE.

References in periodicals archive ?
Seen in this perspective, Signs of Writing can be said to present a theory of the graphotext, a semiology that, indeed, releases writing from dependency on the spoken sign, but at the same time points towards the signs of reading.
In conclusion, the two volumes reviewed represent scholarship for anyone interested in a wide range of momentous, and, at the same time, commonly occurring social phenomena which fall within the domain of various and largely overlapping disciplines: (comparative) cultural studies, comparative literature, travel studies, anthropology, sociology, history, semiology, among others.
When the editors refer to the diachronic aspect of spoken language, it is in relation to the aesthetic theories of Suzanne Langer, not the semiology of Ferdinand de Saussure and his followers.
We need not all work in semiology, gender studies, deconstructionism, and whatever other new trends will be around tomorrow.
Anthropology as a semiology should itself be treated in semiological terms.
In Mythologies, but also in The Fashion System and Elements of Semiology, Barthes demonstrates that the "functional" is indeed the most insidious, the most compromising of all values.
universities from the aftereffects of poststructuralism, in Europe the foundations of thinking about literature were being laid, based in a broad theoretical tradition that included the Marxist sociology of literature, the Frankfurt School, as well as the semiology of Tartu School, the Konstanz School, and the functionalism of the Prague School.
In his essays and lectures of the '90s, Kirk was clearly working his way toward a new understanding of modernist abstraction, one inhibited by neither Greenbergian formalism nor semiology.
Grand theory" (sometimes called "screen theory") refers to the historically "dominant theoretical influences" upon film studies, including psychoanalysis, semiology, and earlier feminist theory (p.
1993 "Determining the Patient's Temperament: An Excursion into 17th-Century Medical Semiology.
Thomas, however, pursues his arguments with only passing reference to recent theories of musical semiology, so that he is unable to plug into some of the musically more specific discussions of a writer like Jean-Jacques Nattiez, who has, among other historical ventures, sought to rehabilitate the intriguing Guillaume Andre Villoteau, about whom Thomas has things to say at the end of the book (pp.
18 In the beginning of Allegories of Reading, de Man defines his project in relation to that of Jakobson when he refers to the way French semiology has turned to the linguistics of Saussure and Jakobson and "exploded" the myth of semantic correspondence between sign and reference (5).