The importance of signs and symbols has been widely recognized, but only a handful of consumer researchers have developed theory and research programs based on semiotics, the doctrine of signs. This article outlines the emergence and principal perspectives of semiotics and then discusses its applications and implications for consumer research. Among its strengths, semiotics positions meaning at the nucleus of consumer behavior, provides a rich metalanguage for semiotic consumer research, and recommends a multi-paradigm philosophy of science.

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