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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 19, 2015

The semiotic dimensions of vertical social (self)classification

Ágnes Kapitány and Gábor Kapitány
From the journal Semiotica


Through the empirical analysis of a concrete phenomenon (the traveler’s encounter with another culture), the authors attempt to describe what criteria people apply in everyday life to determine the place of a particular culture (their own culture and the foreign culture) within a (subjective) hierarchy. They distinguish nine dimensions of classification: according to their hypothesis travelers used a combination of these criteria to create their subjective notion of the hierarchy of different cultures. The authors find that we also use these same criteria for the formation of a vertical hierarchy in other areas of (socio)semiosis (for example, in forming the hierarchy of foods, or of social groups that distinguish themselves from each other on the basis of differences in linguistic usage). The authors assume that the analytical dimensions proposed can be applied uniformly in all cases when sociosemiotics wishes to describe the sign system of social hierarchies, vertical classifications, and self-classifications.


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Published Online: 2015-5-19
Published in Print: 2015-6-1

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