Sociology Index


Language includes non-verbal as well as verbal symbolic communications. There is Sign language and Body Language. The theory of 'Veblen Effects' arise from the desire to achieve social status by signaling wealth through conspicuous consumption or inconspicuous consumption. All communication with others is symbolic communication and involves the use of language, sound, bodily gesture and expression.

Symbolic communications are demonstrated by the cars we drive and the houses we live in. Symbolic communications are also demonstrated by the clothes and other accessories. The most important aspects of symbolic communication are the words we use. Sociality is both necessary and sufficient for symbolic communications to get off the ground.

The oldest surviving symbolic communications of humans are graffiti that were scratched or painted on protected rock surfaces. Some regard this material as art, which is clearly a matter of taste.

Symbolic communications are the things that we have given meaning to and that represent a certain idea we have in place, for example, the American flag is a symbol that represent freedom for the Americans themselves, or imperialism and evil for some other countries.

Terrence W. Deacon believes the complex symbolic communication ability possessed by humans, is the driving force for language evolution. According to Deacon, humans more or less discover language during the exploration of the complex relationship between symbols and what they refer to in the real world.

The earliest traces of Homo sapiens are marked with cave paintings, reminding us of the depth of the human investment in visual expression and the range and power of symbolic communications.

Huggins asserts that: Iconic communication deals mainly with non-verbal communication between human beings by the use of visual signs and representations that stand for an idea by virtue of resemblance or analogy to it in contrast to symbolic communications where the meaning of a symbol is entirely nominal. - Huggins W. H. & Entwisle D. R. (1974) Iconic Communication: an annotated biography - The John Hopkins University Press.

Prof. Oswald on symbolic communications
During the past 10 years or so, brand strategy researchers have come to recognize the importance of brand communication in building and sustaining brand equity — the value attached to a brand, name or logo that supercedes product attributes and differentiates brands in the competitive arena.

PT 155 Dream, Fantasy and Symbolic Communications - R. Rothman - Fall 2008

Course Description: This course studies Sigmund Freud's concept of the wish-fulfilling concept of dreams along with some of the current neurobiological research on dreaming. Understanding primary process and the language of the unconscious are used to illustrate how Freud and contemporary analysts interpret dreams, delusions, fairy tales, symptoms, and creative work.

Objectives: The student will be able to acquaint students with the language of the unconscious (condensation, reversal, visual imagery, symbolic communication, etc.) and its appearance in myths, fairy tales, dreams, delusions, symptoms and creative works; and develop skill in working with the unconscious.

Method of Evaluation: A paper on a topic relating to the psychoanalysis of dreams, fantasy and symbolic communication which the student wishes to study in depth.