The aim of social semiotics is to understand the social dimensions of meaning, its production, interpretation and circulation, and its implications. It sets out to reveal how processes of meaning making (i.e. signification and interpretation or what is called semiosis) shape individuals and societies. Its basic assumption is that meanings derive from social action and interaction using semiotic resources as tools. It stresses the agency of sign makers, focusing on modes and their affordances, as well as the social uses and needs they serve. Gunther Kress, Robert Hodge and later Theo van Leeuwen developed social semiotics from three main strands of influence: Linguistics including Hallidayan linguistics (see Chapter 3), semiotics and critical linguistics that is now more commonly referred to as critical discourse analysis (CDA).