Elgar original reference
Edited by Russell W. Belk
David Glen Mick and Laura R. Oswald 1 The importance of understanding the nature and role of meaning in marketplace activities such as product design, branding, advertising and retailing is indisputable among marketing strategists and researchers today. Consumer culture is, in a sense, the product of the consumer’s relationship to messages of all kinds, from advertising and the organization of retail space to the cultural cues internalized through group participation and ethnic identiﬁcation. One of the richest and oldest paradigms for understanding meaning is semiotics. The term itself originates from ancient Greece in relation to the study of signs, which were regarded in medical treatises as vital to the diagnoses of diseases. More generally, signs are regarded as anything that can stand for or communicate about something else (Eco, 1976, p. 7). As such, they permeate much of life in various ways: language, behavior, dwellings, clothing, artifacts, and so forth. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, scholars such as Saint Augustine and John Locke elaborated on the character and functions of signs, but it was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that semiotics was developed in detail by two intellectuals who were working independently on diﬀerent sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They were the Swiss linguist F. de Saussure and American philosopher C.S. Peirce. Saussure (1913/1971/1983, pp. 100–101) envisioned a general science of signs modeled after linguistic science, which he named la sémiologie. Peirce (1955, p. 98) used the term ‘semiotics’ to describe...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.