1st Edition

On Insignificance The Loss of Meaning in the Post-Material Age

By Massimo Leone Copyright 2020
    246 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Focusing on the anthropological consequences of the disappearing of materiality and sensory embodiment, On Insignificance highlights some of the most perturbing patterns of insignificance that have seeped into our everyday lives. Seeking to explain the semiotic causes of feelings of meaninglessness, Leone posits that caring for the singularities of the world is the most viable way to resist the alienating effects of the digital bureaucratization of meaning. The book will be of interest to scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, semiotics, aesthetics, communication studies, and social theory.

    Introduction: The Significance of Insignificance

    1. Framing Insignificance: A Semiotic Typology of Meaningless

    2. Trolling Insignificance: Disrupting the Digital Public Discourse

    3. Contrarian Insignificance: Wars of Position in the Digitial Arena

    4. Picturing Insignificance: The Utopia of Digital Perfection

    5. Shopping Insignificance: Post-Material Temples

    6. Assembling Insignificance: Post-Material Crowds

    7. Eating Insignificance: Post-Material Meals

    8. Recovering Significance: The Value of Singularity

    9. Negotiating Significance: The Value of Compromise

    10. Sharing Insignificance: the Value of Common Sense

    11. Courting Significance: The Value of Interpretation

    12. Conclusions: the Clash of Semiotic Civilizations


    Massimo Leone is Full Professor of Cultural Semiotics at the University of Turin, Italy, and a Visiting Full Professor of Semiotics at Shanghai University, China.