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Социальная семиотика: траектории интеграции социологического и семиотического знания

Социологический журнал. 2019. Т. 25. № 4. С. 123-141.

This article outlines major trends in the development of social semiotics during the last four decades of its existence. The starting point was the interface between functional analysis of the semiotic system of language and the structural interpretation of language as a social system. Their convergence provided the basis for further developing an interdisciplinary domain of social semiotics. Michael Halliday’s book “Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning” (1978) gave an initial impetus to exploring the interface of semiotic and social. Ten years later his approach was reinterpreted by Bob Hodge and Gunther Kress in “Social Semiotics” (1988). They suggested that both the social and semiotic nature of language had a broader significance and extends to the entire domain of human activity and existence. Thus, social semiotic (in singular) of language was enhanced into all-embracing social semiotics (in plural). This article further examines linguistic as socio-semiotic, semiotic as social, semiotic as multimodal, socio-semiotic as functional, interpretative as socio-semiotic. The article outlines two frontiers of social semiotics, that of its subject matter and that of its methodological dimension. Finally, the article focuses on current challenges faced by social semiotics, particularly those relevant to sociology.