indexical expression

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indexical expression

any word or expression which draws its sense only from the immediate context of its use (e.g. personal pronouns). Indexicality can be seen as a frequent feature of social concepts (and also many sociological concepts), a feature which means that SOCIAL ACTORS (as well as sociologists) must often undertake careful interpretive work to determine the meanings prevailing within particular social settings (see also HERMENEUTICS).

For ethnomethodologists, the indexicality of social concepts and social accounts means that the kind of generalized sociological and scientific accounts sought by orthodox sociologists are unattainable. However, elements of indexicality can be seen as a feature of all concepts, including those in physical science (see also INCOMMENSURABILITY, SCIENTIFIC PARADIGM, RELATIVISM). While this certainly means that science can no longer reasonably be seen in simple positivist or empiricist terms as directly referring to phenomena, this does not prevent general theories being advanced. Likewise, elements of indexicality in sociological accounts need not preclude workable general accounts (compare ETHNOMETHODOLOGY).

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Without either iconicity or indexicality, or without sign function or semiotic object, there can be no symbol or meaning.
His theory of correspondences moves us away from those judgments about an image's veracity that are located in indexicality. As Prince explains, "instead of asking whether a film is realistic or formalistic, we can ask about the kinds of linkages that connect the represented fictionalized reality of a given film to the visual and social coordinates of our own three-dimensional world." Prince argues that all cinematic representations, whether pro-filmic or digitally generated, are assessed by the spectator in the same basic way.
First, the "indexicality principle" states that "socialization is in part a process of assigning situational, i.e., indexical meanings [...] to particular forms [...]" (p.
The central aim of this paper is to set out and defend the idea that indexicality may be a feature not only of referring expressions but also of predicate expressions.
According to Recanati, there are three forms of context-sensitivity: (i) indexicality, (ii) modulation, and (iii) circumstance-relativity.
The specifically cinematic body, however, is not just narrative, not only symbolic, but evokes simultaneously a palpable and ghost-like iconicity and indexicality that other, non-photographic types of narratives do not share.
(5.) No one has defended the autonomy of art and its indexicality of freedom more eloquently than Salman Rushdie, 2002.
This strategy not only makes it possible to ignore some of the troublesome features of natural languages, such as indexicality and vagueness, it also enables us to draw on a wealth of metamathematical and semantical results relating to the language in question.
Such is the nature of the notebook, ever ready to leave its recording role behind, or rather to OD on indexicality (as Koestenbaum puts it) and travel somewhere quite else, with its "lines ending up / abstract because / they're so intently / concentrated on / capturing observed form." In an essay on Goethe, Walter Benjamin described a species of empiricism so precise it flipped over into pure theory; The Pink Trance Notebooks is not quite that, but it's a teasing lesson in the ways a writer's first-thought journal may translate itself into something formally exotic and profound.
KEY WORDS: linguistic meaning, indexicality, homonymy, naming convention, understanding
Nevertheless, her emphasis on the symbolic nature of verbal and non-verbal representations (as opposed to their iconicity or indexicality) is reminiscent of her association with Nelson Goodman and his constructive nominalism.