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Semiotics for Beginners Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Totem Books; 1st edition (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1874166552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1874166559
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. Mcardle on 11 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Semiotics is a somewhat intimidating and all-encompassing science that appears to underpin... well... pretty much everything. This book describes, in comparatively simple terms, the development of semiotic theory from straight linguistics into the complicated model of social interaction (and internal cognitive perception) that it now seems to be. In short - why do we interact with and think about the world in the way that we do.

The interplay between linguistics, philosophy, psychology and critical theory that comprises the basis of semiotics is not easy to understand and even this most gentle and accessible of texts can require a few attempts to get into - leading as it does with the arid linguistic-based foundations of semiotics before going into the more contemplative aspects of how semiotics works within society.

It is worth the perseverance. Once you can get through the basics, the scope of the book is substantial and fascinating. The pages that neatly answer, in semiological terms, the question 'what is art?' are worth the effort in themselves.

The only two criticisms I would have of the book are that, firstly, the disparate strands of semiotic theory are not woven particularly well and the explanation of the development of the theories seem a little disjointed. This may well be an accurate reflection of the situation, as the discipline is both comparatively new and exceedingly broad in scope. Nevertheless, it does not make for easy comprehension.

Secondly, the illustrations, while serving to break and lighten up the text, contribute little to the reader's understanding of the theories being expounded (talk about a mismatch of form and content!)

Despite these reservations, this is as concise and informed a primer on this incredibly opaque and academic of sciences as you are ever likely to read.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Introducing Semiotics by Paul Cobley and Litza Jansz
Semiotics is a science that attempts to study the use, significance, and structure of signs. An area of study that is having increasingly profound effects on the way that everyone from Biologists, to Doctors, to Child Psychologists and even Marketing companies view their respective disciplines.
Introducing Semiotics outlines the emergence of this rapidly developing science. Using a combination of flowing narrative and informative illustations to make this very technical subject simple to understand.
The book opens up by briefly examining the work of the very first researchers in this field, including that of the Great Philosophers Plato and Aristotle. It then continues by outlining how renowned historical figures such as St. Augustine and the English Franciscan, William of Ockham contributed to the early understanding of the significance of signs in the world around us.
The book then launches itself into the task of conveying an understanding of the work of the more recent, and current researchers in this fascinating subject. It is the insights of these individuals, such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Umberto Eco and Roman Jakobson that have made the science of Semiotics the increasingly respected discipline that it is today.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R.M.McGill on 27 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have chosen the topic of 'Semiotics' for my masters disseratation. I never realised understanding 'signs' could be so complictaed. This books is very deep and pulls out all the essentials for a good all-round introduction. It's tough to understand if you enter this subject cold, but not impossible. I've now moved on to Barthes and 'Mythologies' to focus my research.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 April 2006
Format: Paperback
I got this book to help my degree dissertation on analysing advertising. I knew other people that had got it for contextual study classes. I found it a bit confusing at first, but if you keep with it it can be very useful in understanding terms and thier uses.
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