Social Semiotics for a Complex WorldAnalysing Language and Social Meaning
Social Semiotics for a Complex World
Analysing Language and Social Meaning

Social semiotics reveals language’s meaning – its structures, processes, conditions and effects – in all social contexts, across all media and modes of discourse. This important new book shows how social semiotics can enhance linguistics with a sociological imagination.

<i>Social Semiotics for a Complex World</i> develops ideas, frameworks and strategies for better understanding key problems and issues involving language and social action in today’s world driven by globalization and new media. Incorporating insights from various schools of linguistics as well as from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology and literary studies, it employs a multimodal perspective to follow meaning across all modes of language and media and a multiscalar approach that ranges between databases and one-word slogans, the local and the global.

Social semiotics analyses twists and turns of meanings big and small in complex contexts. This book uses semiotic principles to build a powerful, flexible analytic toolkit which will be invaluable for students across the humanities and social sciences.

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  • October 2016
  • 288 pages
  • 229 x 152 mm / 9 x 6 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9780745696201
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9780745696218
  • Open eBook $20.99
  • 9780745696249
Table of Contents


PART I: Principles and Practices

Chapter 1: Key Concepts

Chapter 2: Some Notes on Method

PART II: From Linguistics to Semiotics

Chapter 3: Words

Chapter 4: Grammar

Chapter 5: Reading and Meaning

PART III: Meaning and Society

Chapter 6: The Semiotics of Reality

Chapter 7: Ideology and Social Meaning

Chapter 8: Multiscalar Analysis

Chapter 9: Conclusions

About the Author
Bob Hodge is Research Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney.
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"Few scholars are as qualified as Bob Hodge to reassess, in yet another sweeping and erudite synthesis, what social semiotics can mean in a world in which communication is changing fast and gaining more and more power and influence in the process. Hodge’s eclectic approach brings out the best of recent decades of work in a truly innovative and refreshing text."
Jan M. E. Blommaert, Tilburg University

"This is a thoughtful, original and stimulating account of social semiotics as a uniquely powerful and inclusive framework for analysing the essential contribution of language and meaning in effective action: they are “part of every problem and every attempted solution”. The book provides valuable insights into how this works in complex, digital and multimodal contemporary social practices."
Norman Fairclough Lancaster University

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