Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things, Second Edition An Introduction to Semiotics

ISBN-10: 0230605230
ISBN-13: 9780230605237
Edition: 2nd 2008 (Revised)
Authors: Marcel Danesi
List price: $38.00 Buy it from $14.85
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Description: Why is it that certain members of the human species routinely put their survival at risk by smoking cigarettes? Why is it that some females make walking a struggle for themselves by donning high heel footwear? This book attempts to answer such  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 8/8/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 235
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Why is it that certain members of the human species routinely put their survival at risk by smoking cigarettes? Why is it that some females make walking a struggle for themselves by donning high heel footwear? This book attempts to answer such questions. Such risky behaviors are obviously shaped by forces other than the instincts. Indeed, for no manifest genetic reason, humanity is constantly searching for a purpose to its existence; this search has led it to invent myths, art, rituals, languages, mathematics, science, and other truly remarkable things that set it apart from all other species. In this volume author Marcello Danesi shows us that the discipline that endeavors to understand the human meaning quest is known as semiotics. Danesi demonstrates how semiotics unravels the meanings of signs that make up the system of everyday life that we call a culture or a society. This book will engender in the reader the same kind of questioning and inquisitive frame of mind with which a semiotician approaches the subject matter of meaning. Basic semiotic ideas and analytical techniques are introduced via a seemingly fictional yet very telling scene, one which reveals a lot about the human need for meaning. The scene is a fashionable modern-day restaurant, and the fictional actions that occur allow Danesi to provide the semiotic version of the human drama in concrete terms. As Danesi argues, perhaps the greatest skill possessed by Homo Sapiens, literally the knowing animal, is the ability to know itself. This book reveals how semiotics helps to sharpen that ability considerably.

Marcel Danesi is Professor of Semiotics and Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He has authored and co-authored many books on learning Italian and Spanish, including Learn Italian the Fast and Fun Way (Barron's).

List of Figures
Preface to the Second Edition
Cigarettes and High Heels: The Universe of Signs
What Does It Mean?: How Humans Represent the World
Makeup: Why Do We Put It On?
Tell Me about Yourself: What Is Language?
Kisses Sweeter than Wine: Metaphor and the Making of Meaning
Now, You Tell Me about Yourself: Why Do We Tell Stories?
At Arm's Length: The Meanings of Spaces
What a Beautiful Ring!: The Meaning of Clothes and Objects
Art Is Indistinguishable from Life: The Artistic Nature of the Human Species
There's More to Perfume than Smell: Advertising, Pop Culture, Television, and Online Culture
Notes
Index

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