Semiotics of textscapes and cultures.

Abstract : In this working paper (to be published in 2017), we present a general outline of a theoretical and methodological framework for analyzing what we call (in analogy to landscapes) textscapes. Textscapes are signifying perceptual surfaces that form, so to speak, the interface with the meaning universe framing the lifeworld (Husserl 1986; Schütz and Luckmann 2003) of an actant (of, for instance, a social actor such as a person, a social group, a community, etc.). In this sense, textscape descriptions and comparisons are of central importance for a semiotics of cultures understood as a text - or discourse –based approach of the description of meaning systems that possess for an actant (here restricted to social actors) a constitutive and normative status. The description of such meaning configurations composing the doxa (conceptions, visions, know-hows, values and norms) of a social actor (i.e. his – in the sense of Greimas (1979) - fundamental semantics) has to rely on a structured approach for dealing adequately with textscapes as the principal data to be studied: the identification of relevant textscapes, the techniques of collecting and conserving them, the analysis of corpora of textscapes or again the experimentation with textscapes. In the first chapter, we will discuss the status and the role of textual data in cultural analysis, viz. the description of a cultural meaning ecosystem. In the second chapter, we will introduce with the help of a concrete example the notion of textscape. The example we will discuss, is a small extract of a typical open market textscape as we can find them, for instance, in Europe. In the following chapter (chapter 3), we will discuss textscapes in a broad sense as signifying 3D-surfaces of the lifeworld of social actors (persons, social groups, …). For this discussion, we will use another concrete example, i.e. the multiple textscapes of the kitchen lifeworld. In the fourth chapter, we will discuss – again on the basis of a concrete example – communicational textscapes, i.e. textual surfaces conceived especially and principally for diffusing and sharing messages. The example we use is a specimen of modern urban communicational textscapes as we can meet them especially in the East Asian megalopolis.
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Peter Stockinger. Semiotics of textscapes and cultures.. 2015. 〈hal-01315352〉

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