Socialising Semiotic Mediation: Some Reflections On Rosa And Pievi’s Paper
This article aims to reflect on the relation between social representations theory (SRT) and a cultural psychological view of semiotics, as presented in Rosa and Pievi’s paper (this issue). It is argued that a fruitful dialogue can be established between the two orientations, one that draws on similarities but also addresses and exploits several important conceptual differences. The article proceeds by outlining the areas in which SRT can be enriched by a semiotic account – such as incorporating a more clearly articulated theory of signs and unpacking further the role of mediated action and personal experience – as well as the ways in which the latter can benefit from engaging with the notion of social representations. Most of all, I propose that what a SRT-informed view of cultural psychology can offer us is a ‘socialized model of semiotic mediation’, one that grounds the construction of knowledge at the level of different groups and communities and observes its dynamic evolution over time in close relation to these social milieus. The transformation of knowledge and its individual and social determinants are considered in detail by SRT researchers and can expand the rather narrow focus on sign, object and meaning in more traditional forms of semiotic analysis. In the end, some methodological reflections are offered and the existence of social representations as a phenomenon is affirmed beyond the realm of purely scientific construction.