1st Edition

Semiotics and Communication Signs, Codes, Cultures

By Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz Copyright 1993

    Communication is, among other things, about the study of meaning -- how people convey ideas for themselves and to one another in their daily lives. Designed to close the gap between what we are able to do as social actors and what we are able to describe as social analysts, this book introduces the language of semiotics -- a language that provides some of the words necessary for discussion of these communication issues.

    Presenting the basics of semiotic theory to communication scholars, this volume summarizes those aspects most relevant to the study of social interaction, in particular, signs (the smallest elements of meaning in interaction) and codes (sets of related signs and rules for their use) -- explaining how they come together within cultures. Three common social codes -- food, clothing, and objects -- serve as primary examples throughout the book.

    Contents: Prelude: Why Semiotics? Introduction: Communication and Semiotics. Part I: Semiotic Theory and Communication Theory. Introducing Semiotics. Signs. Codes. Part II: From Semiotic Theory to Communication Behavior. Food as Sign and Code. Clothing as Sign and Code. Objects as Sign and Code. Part III: From Communication Behavior to Semiotic Theory. Cultures.


    Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz

    "To think that a half dozen image merchants even know what semiotics is would probably be gratuitous. They should pick up a copy of Semiotics and Communication: Signs, Codes, Cultures and read it as they fly first class to their next $10,000 appointment!"
    Public Relations Review

    "Leeds-Hurwitz has succeeded in the nearly impossible task of satisfying two audiences whose demands conflict with each other. On the one hand, she has made a body of difficult theory accessible and palatable for an audience of upper-division undergraduate or graduate students. On the other hand, she has done original theoretical and research work that will be important to scholars in intercultural communication and communication theory."
    Journal of the Northwest Communication Association