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Multimodality : A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication - Gunther Kress


A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication

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The 21st century is awash with ever more mixed and remixed images, writing, layout, sound, gesture, speech, and 3D objects. Multimodality looks beyond language and examines these multiple modes of communication and meaning making.

Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication represents a long-awaited and much anticipated addition to the study of multimodality from the scholar who pioneered and continues to play a decisive role in shaping the field. Written in an accessible manner and illustrated with a wealth of photos and illustrations to clearly demonstrate the points made, Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication deliberately sets out to locate communication in the everyday, covering topics and issues not usually discussed in books of this kind, from traffic signs to mobile phones.

In this book, Gunther Kress presents a contemporary, distinctive and widely applicable approach to communication. He provides the framework necessary for understanding the attempt to bring all modes of meaning-making together under one unified theoretical roof.

This exploration of an increasingly vital area of language and communication studies will be of interest to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of English language and applied linguistics, media and communication studies and education.

List of illustrationsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Where meaning is the issuep. 1
Multimodality: simple, reallyp. 1
From semiotic system to semiotic resourcep. 5
Cultural difference and communication: the 'reach' of the theory and the 'reach' of modesp. 8
The politics of namingp. 12
A satellite view of languagep. 15
The social environment of contemporary communicationp. 18
An ethical approach to communicationp. 18
Assumptionsp. 19
Environments for communication: social frames and communicational possibilitiesp. 19
Power, authority and authorshipp. 21
Social and theoretical consequences: ruling metaphors of participation, design, and productionp. 22
Personal choices: existential insecurity or agency through participation and connectionp. 23
Communication and meaning: fluidity, provisionality, Instabilityp. 23
A prospective theory of communication: rhetoric, design, productionp. 26
From language and grammar to semiotic resourcesp. 27
Mobility and portabilityp. 28
A word on 'pace'p. 29
The need for apt metaphorsp. 30
Communication: shaping the domain of meaningp. 32
Communication as semiotic work: a sketch of a theoryp. 32
'Reading' and the reader's design of meaningp. 37
Provisionality in communication: rhetoric and design, newly configuredp. 43
Environments of communication: a historical viewp. 46
Refashioning social and semiotic domains: rhetoric and designp. 49
A social-semiotic theory of multimodalityp. 54
From a linguistic to a multimodal social-semiotic theory of meaning and communicationp. 54
Linguistics, pragmatics and a social-semiotic approach to representationp. 56
Horses for courses: apt theories, useful framingp. 60
The motivated signp. 62
The everyday, the banal and the motivated signp. 65
Interest and the partiality of representationp. 70
Mimesis, signs and embodied experiencep. 76
Modep. 79
Materiality and affordance: the social making of modep. 79
The 'reach' of modesp. 83
What is a mode?p. 84
Is layout a mode?p. 88
Mode, meaning, text: 'fixing' and 'framing'p. 93
Mode as technology of transcriptionp. 96
Meaning as resource: 'naming' in a multimodal social-semiotic theoryp. 103
Naming aptlyp. 103
New frames, new namesp. 105
Making signs: resources, processes and agencyp. 107
Processes and effects:-making and remaking meaningp. 120
Design and arrangements: making meaning materialp. 132
Design in contemporary conditions of text-makingp. 132
Design an essential (re)focusingp. 133
What is design? A homely examplep. 135
Design in social-semiotic environmentsp. 137
Changes in design: a brief look at recent historyp. 141
Arrangements: making meanings materialp. 145
What else is framed?p. 153
Discourse: ontological and epistemological framingp. 157
Multimodal orchestrations and ensembles of meaningp. 159
The world arranged by me; the world arranged for mep. 159
The world arranged by me, the world arranged for me: orchestrating ensembles, staging of movement, motion, 'pace'p. 162
Aesthetics, style and ethics in multimodal ensemblesp. 169
Applying the theory: learning and evaluation; identity and knowledgep. 174
Learning and identity in a communicational framep. 174
Reading as designp. 175
Semiosis, meaning and learningp. 178
Recognition, metrics and principles of assessmentp. 182
The social semiotics of convergent mobile devices: new forms of composition and the transformation of habitusp. 184
The social frame for the semiotic analysisp. 184
The affordances of Smartphones: a social-semiotic accountp. 185
Affordances of the hardwarep. 186
'Shape': designers' intentions and social implicationsp. 187
The representational affordancesp. 187
The functionalitiesp. 189
Mobile Web access and usability: changes in social habitusp. 190
Implicationsp. 193
Gains and losses: some open questionsp. 195
Referencesp. 198
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415320603
ISBN-10: 0415320607
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 214
Published: 9th January 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1