This paper presents a general and non-technical overview of semiotics and its recent history. The importance of Peirce and Saussure as founding fathers of contemporary semiotics is discussed and the debate they precipitated is mapped out including some of the peculiar characteristics of semiotics as a field of study. Some advice is given on how to read semiotic research, emphasising its contribution as an art rather than as a science. Some emphasis is placed on the specific contribution of semiotics to our understanding of the political nature of all communication.
Published online: 01 January 1986
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