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This article has been subjected to double blind peer review

This article has been published in: Ocula 16, Semiotics of Economic Discourse

author: Bernard Lamizet (Institut d’Études Politiques de Lyon (FR))

Signs of political economy

language: french

publication date: December 2015

abstract: Like any political system, economy is a system of signs and representations. The Semiotics of economy elaborates its analytical methods to interpret such signs, which give meaning to the economy by representing its performances in public debate and in the media. Four major features distinguish the Semiotics of political economy from other semiotic forms or other systems of information and political representation. First of all, the relationship between the signification of the economy and the real or the imaginary phenomena to which they refer always pertains to the order of values. The second characteristic of economic signs is the significance of the state of lack they express. The third characteristic of signs of the economy is the form of sign production, which can be designated by the concept of emission of signs and their diffusion. Finally, as all signs, the economic sign is arbitrary. In the field of Economics, such arbitrariness does not imply that the Subject is free to superimpose whatever value to the signs themselves, but refers to the rupture between the world and its possible transformation. The very meaning of the word economy is here at stake. Oikos, in Greek (the term from which the word economy is derived) refers to a known, familiar space. Economy transforms the real, natural world into a symbolic social world, into a world of relations with others whom we recognise and whose actions are relatively predictable. It might be useful to consider the contemporary issue of debt, its implications and its multiple meanings, which includes both the ethical and moral dimension of the condemnation of debt as well as the imaginary political dimension based on the expression of an idea of independence.

keywords: discorso economico, economic discourse, signes de l’économie, valeur, travail, prix, capital, economic signs, value, work, price

OCULA16-Lamizet ➞ PDF [419Kb]

DOI: 10.12977/ocula46

citation information: Bernard Lamizet, Les signes de l’économie politique, "Ocula", vol.16, n.16, December 2015. DOI: 10.12977/ocula46



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