Faculty of Arts and Education

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Processes of Signification Emerging Research Group (PSERG)

A Deakin University Emerging Research Group

About PSERG

The research of the Processes of Signification Emerging Research Group (PSERG) enlarges conceptions of the processes of signification and meaning-making within contemporary culture. In doing so, the intellectual and theoretical outcomes of the research permit informed understandings of the ways in which signification functions in relation to the construction and circulation of meaning within culture. This outcome is innovative and unique. By analysing the processes whereby signification operates and meaning is made, the Group's research exceeds extant analyses of signification. Barthes (in the first half of his book Mythologies), for example, applied semiotic concepts to the study of cultural objects, but in doing so he approached culture as a pre-existent text and thereby ignored the ways in which 'texts' are formed. Within an examination of the practices and processes within and through which signification as the basis of meaning-making functions and operates, the research of the PSERG revises and informs semiotics (as the field otherwise most directly concerned with signification). Further, the Group's research applies innovative theoretical approaches derived from and informed by perspectives from historical studies, sociology, media and communication studies, and visual culture.

The informed and informing insights and perspectives into the processes of signification, which are the central outcomes of the research conducted by the PSERG, are based within, and associated with, the study of three selected and significant topics: ideology, gender, and enigma. Each of the three foci are aligned within and through the fact that, separately and combined, the content of each focus is a set of important contemporary experiences capable of revealing through research and close analysis the processes and functions of signification.

Research within the PSERG combines and applies theory and practice, and in this way the intellectual outcomes are extended and informed through creative practice (and vice versa). Further, the work of the PSERG is not restricted to intellectual outcomes applicable within the academy; the outcomes are also applicable to, and defined through, activities conducted by the PSERG within the community.


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17th April 2012