Abstracts of the Articles / Résumés des articles

Nº 19

Chris FULLWOOD and Orsolina MARTINO: "Emoticons and the Formation of Impressions"

Although the efficacy of computer-mediated exchanges may be lessened by the paucity of nonverbal cues, emoticon use is said to improve the communication of socio-emotional information. The current study aimed to test this further by exposing participants to verbal information that was either supplemented by emoticons or not. Participants were then requested to rate their chat partner on a number of personality variables. Results indicated that emoticon users were generally perceived as being more outgoing and friendly than non-users, with men rating non-users as less outgoing. Furthermore, women in both conditions rated online chat partners as more emotionally stable. It was concluded that using emoticons helps to alleviate the constraints associated with cue restriction in CMC, and that sex differences may be a function of the perceived sex of the chat partner and subsequent motivations for the exchange. Further research should therefore consider the context and nature of online communications.

     [Article in English]

Craig BERNARDINI: "Swimming and Diving in the American Imagination"

Swimming and diving are the complementary halves of an evolving American myth, two sports whose juxtaposition is both mutually illuminating and illustrative of contemporary American culture. A diver transforms the body into a symbol; all diving is an allegory of death and transcendence, as well as an attempt to enact the dream of a natural language. Swimming, by contrast, is anti-allegorical and absurd, a failed attempt at bodily transformation. Diving is a purely conventional construct that masquerades as nature; swimming is a physical activity that fails to adopt a set of conventions that would enable it to speak clearly. In terms of their place in American culture, swimming is the privileged term in the binary, since it is associated with the values of capitalism, while diving is denigrated as theater, as play. Although in this regard diving may appear as a disruptive or potentially revolutionary activity, it more likely inoculates (in Roland Barthes’s sense of the term, whose Mythologies form the counterpoint for this discussion) American society against the possibility of radical transformation. Or, has capitalism evolved beyond the point that such a mythical inoculation is necessary?

     [Article in English]

José Bernardo HERNÁNDEZ ÁVILA: "Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland: a Cold War Parody?"

An analysis of the Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is conducted in order to attempt to interpret a deeper immanent level of meaning than that conveyed at first sight on the level of the manifest, through a semiotic breakdown using the film analysis theoretical aproach proposed by Giannetti, and also employing the sign classification categories developed by Olivo (1985).

     [Article in English]

Paraskevi GOLIA: "The Significances of National Celebrations in Greek Primary Schools"

Many aspects of a national anniversary are associated with general social functions, which interpret data, but in parallel highlight issues requiring ethnographic and phenomenological approaches (McQuarrie & David, 1992). The issue of the relationship between history, society and education is discussed as a problem of relationships between education and historically determined ideology. Given that ideologies allow for semiotic formulations, the convergence of Marxist and semiotic analyses afford a methodological basis which enables the study of the relationship between the socio-historical conditions and the ceremonial aspects of national celebrations (Lagopoulos, 1986). The present paper aims at emphasizing the character of school celebrations, as ensued from the study of official national celebration agendas, which are prescribed and sent in circulars (channel) by the Greek Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of the Interior (sender) to the Local Authorities (receiver) and finally to Greek primary schools (receiver). The investigation of the circulars aims at identifying aspects of national celebrations and associating them with national memory in the context of pupils’ national and education policy. .

     [Article in English]

Kamaran FATHULLA: "Considerations on the Interpretation of Diagrams"

This paper responds to renewed interest in the centuries old question of what is a diagram. Existing status of our understanding of diagrams is seen as unsatisfactory and confusing particularly when responding to problems of accounting for the variety of diagrams, handling change in diagrams in a well formed way, and all of this in the context of semantically mixed diagrams. Existing frameworks (Peirce, Bertin, Engelhardt) for understanding diagrams are discussed and evaluated against these problems. These frameworks are then contrasted for similarities and differences with our proposal which is based on, SySpM, Symbolic and Spatial Mapping. Potential and contributions of the proposed framework are briefly mentioned. Keywords: SySpM: Symbolic, Spatial, Mapping. WF: Well-formedness..

     [Article in English]

AS/SA Nº19 (2007.09)   ISSN 1204-6150

Editors/Rédacteurs : Pascal G. Michelucci & Peter G. Marteinson
University of Toronto

© 2007 AS/SA

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