Signs In Society

Signs In Society

by Richard J. Parmentier


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Richard Parmentier takes up Ferdinand de Saussure’s challenge to study the "life of signs in society" by using semiotic tools proposed by Charles Sanders Peirce. He studies how semiotic theory can illuminate highly complex social and cultural practices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253327574
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 06/01/1994
Series: Advances in Semiotics
Pages: 319
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile: 1550L (what's this?)

About the Author

RICHARD J. PARMENTIER, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University, is the author of The Sacred Remains: Myth, History, and Polity in Belau and articles on Pacific ethnography, anthropological linguistics, and semiotic theory.

Table of Contents


Part I Foundations of Peircean Semiotics

Peirce Divested for Nonintimates
Sign, Object, and Interpretant
Symbols and Legisigns
Language and Logic
The Trichotomies
Scientific Knowledge and Cultural Belief

Peirce’s Concept of Semiotic Mediation
The Fundamental Model of Semiotic Mediation
Semiotic Mediation and the Correlates of the Sign
Thirdness as Mediation
Sign as Medium of Communication

Part II Signs in Ethnographic Context

Transactional Symbolism in Belauan Mortuary Rites
Responses to Death
Initial Funeral Transactions
Burial Practices
Final Transactions

The Political Function of Reported Speech
Authoritative Speech
Ethnographic Context
Ngiraklang’s Speech to the Council
Metapragmatic Elements in the Speech
Textual Pragmatics

Part III Comparative Perspectives on Complex Semiotic Processes

Tropical Semiotics
Levels of Semiosis
Collectivizing and Differentiating Sybolization
Convention and Innateness
Obviational Exchange
Tropes and Narrative
Foi Cultural Semiotics

The Semiotic Regimentation of Social Life
Social Action and Semiotic Text
Content and Type in Ritual Performativity
Institutional Regimentation of Touristic Experience
Ideological Regimentation in Advertising

Part IV Social Theory and Social Action

Comparison, Pragmatic, and Interpretation
Models and Strategies of Comparison
Comparative Philosophy of Religion as a Discipline
Comparison and Interpretation as Practical Reason
Directions for Future Research

Naturalization of Convention
Arbitrariness and Motivation
Naturalization in Social Theory
Naturalization and Conventionalization in Social Reality


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