Ken E. Foote, Maoz Azaryahu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Semiotics is a branch of the study of culture that explores signs and sign systems as modes of communication and investigates how the meaning of signs and symbols are encoded and decoded. In structural theory, semiotics provides a means for conceptualizing and analyzing how individuals and collectivities communicate and interact in both denotative and connotative terms. In postmodernist theory, semiotics provides tools for deconstructing communicational behavior to reveal relationships of power and genealogies of authority and social control. Social semiotics focuses on semiotic procedures that underlie signification in specific social contexts and in particular communities. Semiotics has been employed in geography, either explicitly or implicitly, in a number of areas focusing on architecture and the social use of objects; the city as symbol and text; landscapes and how they can be read as ordinary, elite, and symbolic; popular culture; cartographic representation and meaning; toponymy; and public memory and commemoration. Despite these overlapping themes, the diverging theoretical interests of geographers and semioticians mean that contacts between the two fields are likely to remain modest.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022955
ISBN (Print)9780081022962
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Communication
  • Connotation
  • Denotation
  • Icon (type of sign)
  • Iconography
  • Index (type of sign)
  • Semiology
  • Semiotics
  • Sign
  • Signified
  • Signifier
  • Symbol (type of sign)
  • Symbolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Semiotics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this