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Towards a multimodal social semiotic agenda for touch

Jewitt, C; (2017) Towards a multimodal social semiotic agenda for touch. In: Zhao, S and Djonov, E and Björkvall, A and Boeriis, M, (eds.) Advancing Multimodal and Critical Discourse Studies: Interdisciplinary Research Inspired by Theo Van Leeuwen's Social Semiotics. (pp. 79-93). Routledge: New York, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

This chapter sets out a multimodal social semiotic agenda for understanding touch communication practices. It outlines how multimodal social semiotics can provide a framework that can be used to explore the materiality of touch, how these are shaped into touch based semiotic resources and modes, and how their take up by people to communicate is culturally and socially patterned and regulated. The chapter draws inspiration from Theo van Leeuwen's early interdisciplinary explorations of emergent modes (i.e. sound and colour) by asking how a multimodal social semiotic approach might be complemented by insights on touch from psychophysics, anthropology of the senses, and sociology. It articulates the relationships across these increasingly blurred disciplinary boundaries towards mapping the landscape of touch as 'semiotic resource' and 'mode(s)'. The chapter identifies and examines touch-based modes: their semiotic principles and meaning potentials. It characterises people's use of touch for communication with attention to the cultural and social norms and power relations that shape their use.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Towards a multimodal social semiotic agenda for touch
ISBN-13: 9781138697638
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9781315521015
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315521015
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081600
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