Rumor, Gossip, and Scandal: Barthes and Tabloid Rhetoric
In continental Europe, Roland Barthes has been a respected writer for almost forty years, but it is really only since the 1980s that his works have come to wield influence in the United States. His central area of investigation is what he referred to as “semiologie”—the theory of signs, verbal and nonverbal. This is a development of the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson—theories that also strongly influenced the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. The work of Roland Barthes, therefore, essentially belongs to that interdisciplinary movement, associated especially with France, generally known as post-structuralism.
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