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Semiotics

  • By: Susan Huddleston Edgerton
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Semiotics is the study of sign and symbol systems. Semiotic analyses explore the ways in which meaning is constructed and understood. Semiotics includes written and spoken language as sign systems, but, unlike linguistics, is not limited to language. Images, soundsboth natural and linguistic, gestures, or associations of any two or more of thesecan all be parts of sign systems. For the curriculum field, semiotic studies tend to be focused on curricular language and media, institutional environments (e.g., the hidden curriculum), and visual images. From the standpoint of semiotic theory, analyzing words, images, gestures, and situations is always an interpretive act; there is no such thing as a “literal reading.” Hence, all sign systems, as entities to be “read” or interpreted, regardless of form, may be ...

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