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Communication is, among other things, about the study of meaning — how people convey ideas for themselves and to one another in their daily lives. Designed to close the gap between what we are able to do as social actors and what we are able to describe as social analysts, this book introduces the language of semiotics — a language that provides some of the words necessary for discussion of these communication issues.
Presenting the basics of semiotic theory to communication scholars, this volume summarizes those aspects most relevant to the study of social interaction, in particular, signs (the smallest elements of meaning in interaction) and codes (sets of related signs and rules for their use) — explaining how they come together within cultures. Three common social codes — food, clothing, and objects — serve as primary examples throughout the book.
Contents: Prelude: Why Semiotics? Introduction: Communication and Semiotics. Part I: Semiotic Theory and Communication Theory. Introducing Semiotics. Signs. Codes. Part II: From Semiotic Theory to Communication Behavior. Food as Sign and Code. Clothing as Sign and Code. Objects as Sign and Code. Part III: From Communication Behavior to Semiotic Theory. Cultures.