chapter  7
27 Pages

Design and arrangements: making meaning material

Chapters 2 and 3 sketch a frame in which to think about communication, representation and, importantly, semiotic production in contemporary environments. The sketch characterizes the social environment as marked by instability and provisionality; it stresses the role of the market in shaping a habitus of agency-as-choice – even though it needs to be said immediately that for many members of society the realities of agency and choice are relatively spurious. These conditions make it possible and demand that individuals assume agency in the production of semiotic entities of all kinds – texts, ‘arrangements’, practices, objects. They do so not least in relation to the making of knowledge, of transforming information which they have selected in accord with their interests and needs, into the tools they need in their everyday social and communicational lives.