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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 29, Issue 2, 2001

Anti Randviir
Pages 607-625

Sociosemiotic perspectives on studying culture and society

The article analyses the position of sociosemiotics in the paradigm of contemporary semiotics. Principles of studying sociocultural phenomena are discussed so as they have been set for analysing the inner mechanisms of sign systems in the semiology of F. de Saussure on the one hand, and for studying sign systems and semiotic units as related to referential reality in the semiotics of C. S. Peirce on the other hand. Three main issues are touched upon to define the scope of sociosemiotics: the general methodology of sociosemiotics. its particular methods, and possible objects of analysis. The relevance of the features of objects in different humanitarian disciplines (cultural unit, historical fact, social fact, institutional fact, social process, etc.) is surveyed to define the object of study in sociosemiotics. Also, the article comments on the description of social organisations via cultural processes and on relations between an individual and society as controllable by social action models.

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