Meaning making in motion: Bodies and minds moving through institutional and semiotic structures
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Culture & Psychology
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What is meaning? And how does it arise? Werner and Kaplan’s approach to symbol formation was prescient in understanding the importance of the body and activity. However, their embodied approach needs to be complemented by a broader conceptualization of social institutions and complex semiotic structures in the genesis and function of symbolic processes. Specifically, human bodies, which are the medium and locus of experience, are embedded in social situations and institutions. Thus embodied experience, the origin of meaning, must be understood as societally structured. Moreover, human experience is never unmediated; it is refracted through the complex semiotic artifacts that comprise human culture, such as discourses, social representations and symbolic resources. The present article focuses on the importance of bodies moving within institutions and minds moving within semiotic structures as a basis for meaning making. We argue that such movement has been neglected; yet, it has the potential to enhance our understanding of how experiences are differentiated and integrated within individuals to produce individuals who are products of society and who also have agency in relation to society.
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Resource Types::text::journal::journal article