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The Semiotic Paradigm for Deconstructing Event Design and Meaning

Viol, Maren; Todd, Louise; Anastasiadou, Constantia


Maren Viol


Festivals and events convey a range of historical, political, social and cultural signs and meanings, however, there remains limited methodological guidance for understanding these. This paper proposes semiotics as a valuable yet underappreciated and underutilised approach in contemporary event studies and design. In contending the value of semiotics to deconstruct the layers of meanings of festivals and events, this paper builds on the semiotic paradigm first proposed by Echtner (1999) in a tourism marketing context. Drawing from two empirical studies, the paper provides a framework for the application of semiotics to deconstruct layers of meaning communicated both at and by festivals and events. In making this methodological contribution to the field of event studies, the paper also highlights additional potential benefits of semiotics and the adoption of a design perspective in event management practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 19, 2023
Online Publication Date May 25, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date May 26, 2023
Print ISSN 1525-9951
Electronic ISSN 1943-4308
Publisher Cognizant Communication Corporation
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 7
Pages 1063-1079
Keywords Semiotics, event design, event meanings, event studies, design theory
Public URL