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Semiotics: Theory And Applications

288 Pages · 2012 · 4.86 MB · English

  • Semiotics: Theory And Applications


    LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS











    S : T


    EMIOTICS HEORY


    A


    AND PPLICATIONS




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    LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS











    S : T


    EMIOTICS HEORY


    AND APPLICATIONS









    STEVEN C. HAMEL


    EDITOR













    Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


    New York



    Copyright © 2011 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.



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    Additional color graphics may be available in the e-book version of this book.



    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA


    Semiotics : theory and applications / Steven C. Hamel.


    p. cm.


    Includes index.


    ISBN 978-1-61761-229-9 (eBook)


    1. Semiotics. 2. Semiotics--Philosophy. 3. Language and


    education--Social aspects. 4. Discourse analysis--Social aspects. 5.


    Culture--Semiotic models. I. Hamel, Steven C.


    P99.S39423 2010


    302.2--dc22


    2010027151



    Published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. † New York












    CONTENTS




    Preface vii


    Chapter 1 Signifying the Transition from Modern to Post-Modern Schooling


    Through Analyzing Changes in the Material Culture of Schools 1


    Kostas Dimopoulos


    Chapter 2 Beyond Signification: The Co-Evolution of Subject and Semiosis 37


    Tahir Wood


    Chapter 3 Language, Emotion, and Health: A Semiotic Perspective on the


    Writing Cure 65


    Louise Sundararajan, Chulmin Kim, Martina Reynolds and


    Chris R. Brewin


    Chapter 4 Re-Thinking the Place of Semiotics in Psychology and its


    Implications for Psychological Research 99


    Agnes Petocz


    Chapter 5 How Israelis Represent the Problem of Violence in Their Schools:


    A Case Study of a Discursive Construction 149


    Douglas J. Glick


    Chapter 6 The Semioethics Interviews III: John Deely*: Human


    Understanding in the Age of Global Awareness 171


    Morten Tønnessen


    Chapter 7 A Semiotics Discourse Analysis Framework: Understanding


    Meaning Making in Science Education Contexts 191


    Kamini Jaipal Jamani


    Chapter 8 Semiotic Constraints of the Biological Organization 209


    Abir U. Igamberdiev


    Chapter 9 Corpus-Based Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy: Review of


    Stefanowitsch, Anatol, Gries, Stefan Th. (eds.) 223


    Zhiying Xin vi Contents


    Chapter 10 The Role of Sign Vehicles in Mediating Teachers‘ Mathematical


    Problem Solving 233


    Sinikka Kaartinen and Timo Latomaa


    Chapter 11 Interaction and Interactivity: A Semiotic Commentary 247


    Jan M. Broekman


    Chapter 12 Multimodal Stylistics – The Happy Marriage of Stylistics


    and Semiotics 255


    Nina Nørgaard


    Index 261














    PREFACE




    Semiotics is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication,


    signs and symbols, and is usually divided into three branches: Semantics, Syntactics, and


    Pragmatics. Semiotics is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions. In


    general, semiotic theories take signs or sign systems as their object of study: the


    communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics or zoosemiosis.


    This book discusses the theory and application of semiotics across a broad spectrum and has


    gathered current research from around the globe.


    Chapter 1 - The objective of this chapter is to present how changes in the material culture


    of schools can signify the transition from modern to post modern schooling. The material


    culture of schools is perceived here as consisting of the architecture of the corresponding


    buildings as well as of the material objects (i.e. furniture and equipment) within these


    buildings. We draw on the key notions of classification and framing borrowed from the


    seminal work of Basil Bernstein in the field of sociology of education which translate


    relations of power and control respectively.


    Classification examines the relations between categories, whether these categories are


    between institutions, social groups, discourses, or practices. By definition, strong


    classification formulates well-defined boundaries, whereas weak classification results in


    blurred or more permeable boundaries between such categories. In other words strong


    classification is predicated on the rule ‗things must be kept apart‘ while weak classification on


    the rule ‗things must be put together‘. In this chapter we are especially interested in exploring


    the symbolic boundaries which are inscribed in the form of material boundaries in the design


    of school space between categories like: a) school as an institution and its social environment,


    b) different social groups acting within it, c) different knowledge domains (subjects) and d)


    different practices.


    Framing refers to the controls on communication that take place within school. If the


    material culture of a school promotes explicitly regulated use or to put it differently the


    criteria for competent use of school space are both explicit and specific, framing is strong.


    Framing is weak in the case that such regulation is either absent or covert.


    The notions of classification and framing become operational on the basis of an inventory


    of multiple semiotic resources signifying symbolic boundaries and potential uses and


    communications within the school space.


    The relevant semiotic choices are typified into two distinct registers, one corresponding


    to modern (characterized by strong classification and framing) and the other to post modern viii Steven C. Hamel


    (characterized by weak classification and framing) schooling. The two registers are illustrated


    by reference to specific case studies. Finally, potential implications for structuring learners‘


    identities as well as for policy making will be discussed.


    Chapter 2 - The paper will start from the assumption that semiotics today has advanced


    well beyond the early insights of Peirce and Saussure, both of whom looked at signs rather


    atomistically and in a decontextualised manner. Furthermore these thinkers tended to view the


    icon, index and symbol as different kinds of signs. Such views are untenable today.


    Firstly, it needs to be shown what the nature of contextualisation entails, as a shift from


    signification to cognitive semiosis. This implies both intertextuality and intersubjectivity as a


    result both of the evolution of the species and the further evolution of its culture. Highly


    evolved culture is made up of a complex of implicit and explicit intertextual relations,


    resulting in increasing levels of abstraction that demand concretisation through the


    hermeneutic activity of a constantly transforming subjectivity. This needs to be theorised so


    as to show up the nature of the symbolic order, which nevertheless incorporates the iconic and


    indexical within itself. This incorporation means that the iconic-indexical dynamics of


    zoosemiotics retain a presence within symbolic human semiosis.


    It will be shown that this insight is prefigured as the ‗animal kingdom of the spirit‘ in


    Hegel‘s Phenomenology and that this raises the possibility of a more fully realised symbolic


    realm in the further evolution of culture. This possibility flows from the fact that human


    subjectivity may be expanded to a greater consciousness of the iconic-indexical animality that


    is embedded in the symbolic order. This cannot mean an evasion of the iconic-indexical realm


    but a greater awareness of it to be achieved through powers of reflectivity.


    Chapter 3 - The writing cure, otherwise known as expressive writing, is widely accepted


    as an effective intervention. Hundreds of studies have shown that writing about one‘s


    thoughts and feelings for 3 days, with at least 15 minutes a day, has beneficial effects on


    physical and mental health. Yet, after more than two decades of research, there remains a


    large gap between evidence and explanation for the phenomenon. The problem, we suggest,


    lies in the general neglect to gain a deeper understanding of the basic building blocks of the


    writing cure, namely language. This vacuum can be filled by Peircean semiotics. Peirce‘s


    triadic circuitry of the sign is explicated and applied to the development of a taxonomy of


    expressions of self and emotions. This taxonomy has been implemented by a pattern matching


    language analysis program, SSWC (Sundararajan-Schubert Word Count) to test our theory-


    based predictions of the health consequences of language use. Two empirical studies of the


    writing cure that utilized SSWC for textual analysis are presented as demonstration of the


    heuristic value of applied semiotics.


    The writing cure has had an impressive track record since its first introduction by


    Pennebaker (Pennebaker, 1985; Pennebaker and Beall, 1986) in the eighties. For the past two


    decades, hundreds of studies have shown that writing about one‘s thoughts and feelings has


    beneficial effects on physical and mental health (Frattaroli, 2006). But why? What is it about


    language that its utilization for emotion expression has consequences for health? This


    question has never been addressed by the extant theories of the writing cure (e.g., Bootzin,


    1997; King, 2002; Pennebaker, Mayne, and Francis, 1997). An explanation that seems to have


    the most empirical support (Frattaroli, 2006) is emotion exposure theory (Sloan and Marx,


    2004), which by considering language use as an instance of exposure therapy tells us more


    about the latter than language per se. Another widely accepted explanation is narrative


    structure (Smyth, True, and Souto, 2001), which claims that verbal expression facilitates the


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