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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 23, Issue 1/4, 2007

Semiotics in the Chinese Umwelt

Hong Wang, Ph.D.
Pages 337-351

Greimas’s Semiotic Square and Its Application in the Anti-corruption Campaign in Mainland China

A semiotic study seeks to find sign significance in its relation with others. This paper is a search for the semiotic manifestation of certain signs in the contemporary campaign against corruption in mainland China. It uses Greimas’s semiotic square as a theoretical base upon which an examination of official discourse pertaining to anti-corruption is conducted. Power, agency, and sexual relation are the three parameters of analysis. The study comes to the tentative conclusion that the marked combinatory presence of women in anti-corruption discourse implicates women as the primary benefactors in the male-dominated corruption practice, thus directing the public attention to a gender issue of minor importance.

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