J.L.Lemke On-line Office


Ecosocial Dynamics

Ecosocial Dynamics concerns ecosocial systems and networks, i.e. those ecosystems, including all material components, for which semiotic practices are essential to characterizing the dynamics of the material processes which constitute the system through their networks of mutual interdependencies.

Across the Scales of Time: Artifacts, Activities, and Meanings in Ecosocial Systems --Text
Opening up Closure -- Semiotics across Scales,
Topological Semiosis and the Evolution of Meaning -- Textweb

Complexity and Educational Change -- AERA 2002

ICCS/NECSI Nashua Conference -- Multiple Timescales and Semiotics in Complex Ecosocial Systems -- WWW

Learning Academic Language Identities: Multiple Timescales in the Social Ecology of Education -- TEXT, Addendum on Developmental Heterochrony

The original account of ecosocial systems and dynamics is found in my Cultural Dynamics paper, "Discourse, Dynamics, and Social Change," and is also discussed in Chapter 6 of Textual Politics (1995).

A further development of the ideas is presented in "Material Sign Processes and Ecosocial Organization," contributed to a volume on emergent organization in physical and social systems (see my Bibliography for citations).

Important sources for this approach are found in the work of the theoretical biologist Stanley Salthe on hierarchical organization in biological systems, of the physicist Ilya Prigogine on emergent order, the linguist Michael Halliday on language as a social semiotic, and most recently sociologist Bruno Latour on network alternatives to classical systems paradigms. The roots in my own work go back to the early concept of dynamic open systems as representing the material basis for semiotic practices (see Retrospective Postscript in Textual Politics, or my 1984 monograph Semiotics and Education).