Cultural theory and its spaces for invention and innovation

Mind and Society 12 (1):23-33 (2013)
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Abstract

This article approaches the topics of invention and innovation by way of cultural theory. Building on the works of Ferdinand de Saussure and John Austin, the article offers definitions of invention and innovation in semiotic and performative terms. It conceptualizes invention as a process of resignification, and frames innovation as a felicitous performative. Structuralist theory appears to foreclose the potential for these two terms to exist in the empirical world. This article explores these barriers but also locates conceptual spaces for invention and innovation, and identifies these phenomena as they occur in contemporary empirical sites

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