Semiotics, the study of the sign systems that constitute human culture, has since its discovery in the late 19th century and early 20th century, transformed the ways in which we think about culture and communication. It has opened new areas of study and made fruitful connections between established disciplines. This four-volume set offers the most extensive, systematic and in-depth survey of the foundations and development of semiotics as a field. It covers foundational texts in semiotics, from the constitution of the field in the early 20th century, through its blossoming with the advent of structuralism in the 1960s and 70s and the formative dialogue between structuralism and Marxism. It goes on to present a representative selection of central essays in literary semiotics, narratology and poetics, the semiotics of anthropology, myth, art, architecture, music, theatre, film, fashion and other aspects of contemporary culture. Special attention is paid to the development of a poststructuralist, semiotically aware discourse in the analysis of culture and history, to the related areas of deconstruction and psychoanalysis, and to the current controversy over the possibilities and issues raised by a postmodernist semiotics.
The anthology offers a unique and valuable research tool for students and scholars alike in all areas of the social sciences and humanities, among them linguistics, social and cultural anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, literature and media and communications.