Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things, Second Edition: An Introduction to Semiotics
Why is it that certain members of the human species routinely put their survival at risk by smoking cigarettes? Why is it that some females make walking a struggle for themselves by donning high heel footwear? This book attempts to answer such questions. Such risky behaviors are obviously shaped by forces other than the instincts. Indeed, for no manifest genetic reason, humanity is constantly searching for a purpose to its existence; this search has led it to invent myths, art, rituals, languages, mathematics, science, and other truly remarkable things that set it apart from all other species. In this volume author Marcel Danesi shows us that the discipline that endeavors to understand the human meaning quest is known as semiotics. Danesi demonstrates how semiotics unravels the meanings of signs that make up the system of everyday life that we call a culture or a society. This book will engender in the reader the same kind of questioning and inquisitive frame of mind with which a semiotician approaches the subject matter of meaning. Basic semiotic ideas and analytical techniques are introduced via a seemingly fictional yet very telling scene, one which reveals a lot about the human need for meaning. The scene is a fashionable modern-day restaurant, and the fictional actions that occur allow Danesi to provide the semiotic version of the human drama in concrete terms. As Danesi argues, perhaps the greatest skill possessed by Homo Sapiens, literally the knowing animal, is the ability to know itself. This book reveals how semiotics helps to sharpen that ability considerably.
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Cigarettes and High Heels
What Does It Mean?
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advertising American ancient ancient Greece animals Aristotle artists become behavior body called Charles Peirce cigarette clothing color communication concept conceptual metaphors connotations courtship dance Desmond Morris discourse dolls domain dress code early English Eratosthenes example expressions fairy female function gender gesture Giambattista Vico goth Greek hair hand Hellboy heroes high heels human I. A. Richards icons ideas images instance interpretation kinds kiss language linguist living male maps Martha's video McDonald's meaning modern-day movements movie mythic myths narrative objects pattern Paul Ekman perceived performance person philosopher physical play pop culture produce proxemic refer Renaissance rituals role scene semiosis semiotic semiotician sense sexual signals signifiers signs smoking social society space specific story structure style suggests Superman symbols television theater theory things tion traditional University versus Vico visual Waiting for Godot wear Western culture words