Brilliantly articulating the potent intersections of semiotic and linguistic anthropology, Signs and Society demonstrates how a keen appreciation of signs helps us better understand human agency, meaning, and creativity.
Inspired by the foundational contributions of C. S. Peirce and Ferdinand de Saussure, and drawing upon key insights from neighboring scholarly fields, noted anthropologist Richard J.
Parmentier develops an array of innovative conceptual tools for ethnographic, historical, and literary research.
His concepts of "transactional value," "metapragmatic interpretant," and "circle of semiosis," for example, illuminate the foundations and effects of such diverse cultural forms and practices as economic exchanges on the Pacific island of Palau, Pindar's Victory Odes in ancient Greece, and material representations of transcendence in ancient Egypt and medieval Christianity.
Other studies complicate the separation of emic and etic analytical models for such cultural domains as religion, economic value, and semiotic ideology.
Provocative and absorbing, these fifteen pioneering essays blaze a trail into anthropology's future while remaining firmly rooted in its celebrated past.