Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Gesellschaftliche Reproduktion und kulturelle Innovation. Aus semiotischer Sicht / Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation. From a Semiotic Point of View

Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation. From a Semiotic Point of View. Introduction

Jeff Bernard (Institute for Socio-Semiotic Studies ISSS, Vienna)



Within the major currents of modern semiotics, the Peirce-Morris mainstream (pragmati(ci)st and related ones), the "semiological" mainstream (the diverse structuralisms incl. poststructuralism), and the important approaches of biosemiotics and socio-semiotics are the most influential ones. Concerning the latter, the most elaborate theory hitherto developed is Ferruccio Rossi-Landi's, in which the term "social reproduction" is a very central one. In his later work, he embedded the sign systems and processes theoretically in social reproduction, wherein they have a privileged function in the intermediary structure (structure/intermediary structure/superstructure): sign exchange = communication. Without sign use, nothing works. On the other hand, we can observe since the early 1960s the rise of a theoretical as well as an applied semiotics of culture (e.g. the Moscow-Tartu School in East Europe; Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, and others in West Europe). In synthesizing the socio-semiotic and cultural-semiotic viewpoints we can approach the challenge to consider society (the people) and culture (people's production) as a whole in an intersemiotic way, and thus also the topic of "Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation". "Intersemiotics" indicates also that the participants on this meeting are welcome to partake irrespective of the semiotic current they feel indebted to, if only they want to tackle these problems.

Therefore, we kindly asked for theoretical and applied semiotic contributions to questions and problems concerning all spheres of social reproduction, such as material production, sign production, and ideological production as well as especially their interrelationships and interdependencies. It would be preferable that the contributions should also meet the provocations of our time, i.e., would show that semiotics is a valid tool for analyzing, assessing, and interpreting the present state of affairs (globalization, neoliberal hegemony, multiculturality, interculturality, subcultures, "clash of civilizations", terrorism, Third World problems, etc.), but historically oriented studies were also welcome, as well as strictly theoretical ones, insofar as they offer models for treating and overcoming the challenges of our time in society and culture (societies and cultures!).

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-09