By Anna Maria Lorusso (auth.)
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Additional info for Cultural Semiotics: For a Cultural Perspective in Semiotics
It works through a process of substitution, assessing the extent to which a change in the signifier leads to a change in the signified. , two minimal significant constituents) of the expressive plane. When Barthes uses the Hjelmslev’s logic of commutation, he broadens its scope to encompass not solely the plane of expression and the linguistic system (on which Hjelmslev worked), but also that of signs (unions of expression and content) and process (the evolution of signs, as well as their organization within a synchronic moment).
78–79) Societies are in continual development, in a parasitic way, in terms of language, secondary systems of sense, and it is thanks to this continuous layering and retranslation that semiotic study has to be parallel with anthropological or sociological study. Barthes’s approach evidently continues to be strongly linguistic in nature, but in a “trans-linguistic version” focused on verbal language and discursive dimension, while today, contemporary semiotics studies tend to focus on the equal importance of nonlinguistic processes and objects, getting closer and closer to the analysis of anthropology (I already mentioned, in the introduction, the key concept of “meaning in action”).
33) This lesson by L é vi-Strauss remains a must for the semiotic study of culture, which has to maintain its focus on unconscious phenomena , on relations between terms , on systematic traits of culture, and on general laws. Let us just consider, for example, the study of such social phenomena as youth behavior or present-day nostalgia for the 1960s (from fashion to TV series). ), on the unconscious features and on the constructed (from a semiotic point of view) nature of meaning, without forgetting that, as for example Hawkes (2003) points out, a structural approach means assuming first and foremost that reality is not just the way it is, but how we construct it.