Society as Semiosis: Neostructuralist Theory of Culture and Society

Society as Semiosis: Neostructuralist Theory of Culture and Society


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Society as Semiosis: Neostructuralist Theory of Culture and Society by Risto Heiskala

Action theory, phenomenological sociology, pragmatism and (post)structuralism are often seen as mutually exclusive currents of meaning analysis. This book shows that these traditions are actually complementary, and builds a neostructuralist synthesis on this finding. It also outlines the implications of this cultural theoretical synthesis for the field of social theory. What emerges is a variant of the theory of practice, habit and structuration of society. It shares the contemporary common belief that social theory should be based on cultural theory. Its distinctive mark is that this is done in systematic semiotic terms within a conception which provides mediation between the two most influential schools of semiotics, namely Charles Peirce’s American pragmatism and Ferdinand de Saussure’s French structuralism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783631398289
Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/07/2003
Series: Studies in Sociology: Symbols, Theory and Society Series , #2
Pages: 388
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

The Author: Risto Heiskala is a professor at the University of Jyväskylä and a docent at the University of Helsinki. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association and the editor of Sosiologia, the journal of the Finnish Sociological Association. His main research areas are social theory, cultural theory, modernization and globalization.

Table of Contents

Contents: Critique of Action Theory and Phenomenological Sociology: Meaning and Rational Action in Weber’s Sociology – Quarrelling Heirs: Parsons and Schutz – Meaning and Intentional Acts: Schutz’s Phenomenological Sociology – Ethnomethodology: Garfinkel’s Reconstruction of Schutz and Parsons – From Intentional Action to Structuralism – Neostructuralist Theory of Culture: Saussure’s Structuralism Reconstructed – The Specificity of the Saussurean Approach – Neostructuralist Semiotics – Towards a Neostructuralist Social Theory: The Levels of Cultural Analysis – Beyond the Culture/Society Split – Symbolic Signs, Socialization, and the Sacred – Power – Conclusion.

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