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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Phillip Vannini

Drawing from in-depth ethnographic interviews conducted at an American public research university with 46 professors I analyze the meanings that faculty in the natural…

Abstract

Drawing from in-depth ethnographic interviews conducted at an American public research university with 46 professors I analyze the meanings that faculty in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities assign to the aspect of their work known as service and institutional governance. Regardless of disciplinary affiliation, almost all faculties perceive feelings of self-inauthenticity when they engage in service and governance and view this aspect of their work as meaningless, inconsequential, trite, and as a waste of time. Yet, interviews with two professors show that service and governance work leads them to feel true to themselves because they view it as of a meaningful symbolic space where a truly effectual cultural politics of resistance against alienating institutional forces can take place. I reflect on the latter two professors’ agency and power to redefine symbolic occupational spaces within and outside their selves and occupation.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-931-9

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2004

Phillip Vannini

In this article I analyze the official portrait of U.S. President George W. Bush to exemplify my previous theoretical elaboration of an interpretive analytics of the sign…

Abstract

In this article I analyze the official portrait of U.S. President George W. Bush to exemplify my previous theoretical elaboration of an interpretive analytics of the sign based on socio-semiotics and symbolic interactionism. President Bush’s official portrait is analyzed paradigmatically and syntagmatically as a complex multimodal text. I examine this sign diachronically by reflecting on the processes of production, distribution, and especially consumption of the portrait occurring throughout his tenure and within the exo-semiotic context of the American and World society at the turn of the millennium. In particular, I focus on the socio-semiotic process of interpretation by building upon Start Hall’s coding/decoding model. Thus, I offer an overview of how hegemonic, oppositional, and negotiated codes are constituted by and in turn constitute discourses about the objects represented in this picture. In conclusion, I examine how social semiotics can be used to view semiosis as an everyday socio-political performance.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2004

Phillip Vannini

Despite the attention that Charles Sanders Peirce and Herbert Blumer dedicated to semiosis, symbolic interactionism still clearly lacks a theory of the sign. Attempts to…

Abstract

Despite the attention that Charles Sanders Peirce and Herbert Blumer dedicated to semiosis, symbolic interactionism still clearly lacks a theory of the sign. Attempts to appropriate Saussurean semiology and deconstruction have been made, but these have often resulted in, respectively, denying the importance of interaction and interpretation, or in implying the demise of meaning. In this article I propose an interpretive analytics of the sign by building upon Peircean semiotics and social semiotics. I examine the sign as a tripartite process of relations among object, representamen, and interpretant and analyze processes of production, distribution, and consumption of signs, and how these processes are shaped by power dynamics. I discuss how socio-semiotic codes are constituted through specific ideological discursive practices, and how these discursive practices are contingent on exo-semiotic conditions. Finally, I reflect on the importance of this approach for the continued growth of symbolic interactionism.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2008

Phillip Vannini

Both the history and the historiography of SI show that multiple “different definitions and boundaries” have been applied to the subject of study (Atkinson & Housley

Abstract

Both the history and the historiography of SI show that multiple “different definitions and boundaries” have been applied to the subject of study (Atkinson & Housley, 2003, p. vii). Yet, despite the commonly agreed-upon understanding of SI's heterogeneity, in practice the institutional and disciplinary core of SI unmistakeably resides in its American heartland. For instance, Reynolds and Herman-Kinney (2003a, 2003b, p. ix) preface their fine Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism by aiming at making it “a fine addition to the sociological literature” (my emphasis). Maines (2001, 2003) himself – the most visible critic of the dissolution of SI – focuses on the growing invisibility of interactionism across American sociological theory and research while Fine (1993) and Sandstrom and Fine (2003, p. 1041) find that the “glorious triumph” of SI is due to its successes in “social psychology, medical sociology, deviance, social problems, collective behavior, cultural studies, media studies, the sociology of emotions, the sociology of art, environmental sociology, race relations, social organization, social movements, and political sociology” – hardly an interdisciplinary outlook.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-127-5

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Book part
Publication date: 28 December 2006

Phillip Vannini

This paper contributes to the symbolic interactionist literature on authenticity and the self by drawing from ethnographic research conducted with 46 faculty members at an…

Abstract

This paper contributes to the symbolic interactionist literature on authenticity and the self by drawing from ethnographic research conducted with 46 faculty members at an American public research university. I offer an analysis of the changing meanings of professors’ sense of self across careers, ranks, and hiring cohorts and I suggest the following: (a) professors’ experiences of authenticity and inauthenticity remain similarly frequent throughout their careers; (b) professors’ concept of true self changes considerably from the time they are hired to the time they retire; (c) younger professors need to face different demands and challenges than older professors, as they need to adapt to a different academic social world marked by new practices and conventions surrounding tenure, research, teaching, and service.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1325-9

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Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2004

Abstract

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 July 2004

Abstract

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-261-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 28 December 2006

Abstract

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1325-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2008

Abstract

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-127-5

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-931-9

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