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Clothes, fashion styles, everyday objects, and technology itself (the process of inventing and producing tools and objects) constitute, generically, what anthropologists call material culture. This has been a fertile area of investigation by semioticians. From the meanings of dress codes, and fashion shows, to the significance of fads such as Hula Hoops and video games, the semiotic approach focuses on the interconnections between some object to the network of connotations that make up a culture. This chapter will look at the semiotics of material culture, focusing on the role of technology in the evolution of human societies. It will also discuss Neil Postman’s notion of technopoly, or the view that contemporary societies are governed by technology, rather than people controlling technology.
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- What a Beautiful Ring!: The Meaning of Clothes and Objects
- Palgrave Macmillan US
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