Social Life of the Sign: Sense-Making in Society

Sergio Salvatore

in The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396430
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social Life of the Sign: Sense-Making in Society

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This work intends to provide a conceptualization of the power of signs to produce the sense of reality of the world to which they refer. To this end, a dynamic field model of sense-making is proposed that is based on the central idea of the bivalence of meaning—the meaning of X entails what is being interpreted by the meaning-maker (the in presentia meaning) but also the whole gestalt working as conditional context that sets the stage for the interpretability of the sign (the in absentia meaning). In metaphoric terms, the latter can be considered the “semiotic silicone”— as it allows the closure of the Gestalt grounding any interpretation. This model is meant to deepen the understanding of how sense-making works as well as establish the link between semiosis and social life.

Keywords: sense-making; sign; semiotic field theory; presentification

Article.  10963 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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