20220122152654 📃 social Behavioral semiotics
¶1. Social-behavioral semiotics is the idea of a code or language of behavior and social presence. Hence, I designate it neither social semiotics nor behavioral semiotics, for I am specifically interested in the connection between what men DO and what they HAVE around others. That sociality is a having is explicated (1) as a having of the self in-presence-of others and (2) a having of objects which are themselves similarly present.
¶2. Thus, we associate a certain car or a certain article of clothing with a status symbolically, or semiotically. But we do this doubly, both as a social datum and as a behavioral one. That is, we, in a circular fashion, see both the individual man having certain objects and his presence in a code which values them. The value-ascription of the having is crucial. For, if any clothing meant anything, then none would wear certain things in certain circumstances. Rather, there is a code of expectancy which values certain appearances according to circumstance.
¶3. Similarly, words alone do not signify, nor even do sentences. These do, but only as spoken (behavior) in a dialogue (social). The speech-act bears with it movements of the body (further behavior) which similar attempt to convey meanings (further sociality). Therefore, to stop semiotics at language proper, the meaning and interrelated meanings of words, is shortsighted. What I intend to comprehend in social-behavioral semiotics is the whole manifold of interpersonal behavior which communicates meanings tacitly and apophatically to enrich and complete the catophasis of speech.
¶4. The apophatic moment of communication is what I am after - what is unsaid but DONE as a means to communicate. Thus, lipstick, hairstyles, food, furniture, job-titles, and so forth not merely in themselves, nor as communicators of status, but as practical matrices whereby status comes about for some purpose. Thus, the voluptuous woman has not only status as beautiful. No, her beauty means. From a Darwinian standpoint, it means health of offspring. Might it mean ONLY this? Such is the question which will drive all social-behavioral semiotic research.
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