Social semiotics: A review of Hodge and Kress
McHoul, A. (1989) Social semiotics: A review of Hodge and Kress. Theory, Culture & Society, 6 (3). pp. 489-492.
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This new book is effectively 'Son (or perhaps Daughter) of Language as Ideology', continuing the theoretical and practical-analytic search for a 'usable, critical theory of language' (p. vii) in areas beyond verbal language alone, turning in addition to static visual texts such as comics, paintings, book illustrations, sculpture and photography. Theoretically, the latest model moves only a little beyond the previous one - though, as we shall see, there have been some important adjustments to the Saussurian drive. Analytically, it embraces a broad range of objects, from both 'high' and popular culture, from Kenneth Clark to Clark Kent, Aeschylus to Wonderwoman. And, I think importantly, Social Semiotics is much more of a text book than the 1979 prototype- quite consciously projected at the advanced end of the undergraduate market, though it would serve just as well for coursework MA degrees.
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