Ecosocial Dynamics


Ecosocial theory developed from the intersection of my research on social semiotics and later work on complex systems theory. It is most fully developed in my book Textual Politics (1995) and a series of later papers on social dynamics across timescales.

Ecosocial dynamics is a theory of social-ecological systems (also known as socio-natural systems or sociotechnical networks) with two key features: (1) the social-cultural system of practices and artifacts and the ecosystem of environmental processes are treated as a single unified system, and (2) semiotic practices are regarded as also being material processes and the meanings they make play an essential role in the overall dynamics of the total system.

My later work has sought to integrate feelings as well as meanings into this synthesis, and to describe how ecosocial dynamics occurs on and across multiple timescales.


Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics (1995) [book]

Discourse, Dynamics, and Social Change

Opening Up Closure: Semiotics across Scales

Material Sign Processes and Ecosocial Organization

Across the Scales of Time: Artifacts, Activities, and Meanings in Ecosocial Systems