Semiotica 16:2, pp. 99-114. & Mouton Publishers, 1976. DEANMACCANNELL An important line of sociological thought extending back to Rousseau through Durkheim has recently been revitalized in France, largely through the works of Claude Levi-Strauss (e.g., 1967) who has discovered semiotics at the heart of the Durkheimian enterprise. It would be more correct to say 're-discovered' because it was Durkheim (1965: 264) himself who wrote in a passage that is not in the least obscure: "social life, in all its aspects and in every period of its history, is made possible only by a vast symbolism". This article is on semiotics in American sociology. I draw together fragments of a sociological semiotic already in existence and attempt to assemble these in an orderly fashion. In writing the article, I found it necessary to devise some new elements as well - American sociology does not at the present time contain a complete semiotic. I have stressed American sociology because it is a field with which I am familiar by training. The influence of Durkheim in American now is stronger than ever before, but there is no organized awareness in American sociology, as there is in France, of the potential that
Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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