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

Bridging Gaps: The Function of "Normemes" in Semiotic Strategies of Social (Re)Production

Frederic Kouadio Koffi (Université de Cocody, Abidjan)



The development of fiction as a tool for coping with Liberal and Neo-liberal hegemony has nowhere been so important as in former colonial countries. The notion of "commitment", here, has given rise to different cultures and movements: Négritude and Afrocenticism among Africans of the diaspora and those of the African continent, namely. In renewing social discourse "normemes" in idiolects and sociolects assure transitions between different contexts and periods, between different cultural objects. In fiction, they are at the foreground of various intertextual strategies: pastiche, collage, signs of our multicultural heritage in a globalizing world. - African urban youth sociolects, in particular, are marked by some specific "normemes" that express an utter rejection of bourgeois neoliberal hegemony and their patriarchal as well as parochial axioms, through the use of slang, but also concepts in a challenging way. These semiotic practices can stand as processes of sign-marketing taking place in a media-dominated world, where communication gives the masses the opportunity to assume a multiculturality derived from an ever expanding capitalist system.

"Normemes" provide in all these semiotic practices the basics to deal with sign production fit to validate an intermediary stage between capitalist mores and a post-capitalist era, that really started with the end of WW II, and the new concept of democracy, centralized or liberal. - Today, transcultural constructs integrate different areas of doxa. Many Thirld World cultures are mainly "trans-normal" as they tend to make use of variegated specific "normemes" in their desire to secure themselves a trans-national credible identity (Afrikaners in South Africa, for example). An economics of these semiotic practices would reveal a process whereby a culture is operated to acquire a mostly economical dimension that it didn't have before. Through the integration of multiple "normemes" within specific media, post-colonial and modern as well as post-modern cultures achieve the (re) production of signs for social innovation to meet the challenges of our time.


Bakhtine, M.M. Le marxisme et la philosophie du langage. Paris: Ed. Minuit 1977

Bourdieu, P. Les règles de l'art. Paris: Seuil 1998 (1992)

Greimas, A.J. & J. Courtès. Sémiotique. Paris: Hachette 1993

Zima, P. Manuel de sociocritique. Paris: Picard 1985

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

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-09