Book Chapter

Tracing the Genealogy of the Concepts of Mediatization and Decalage in Eliseo Verón’s Oeuvre


Olivera GE (2021) Tracing the Genealogy of the Concepts of Mediatization and Decalage in Eliseo Verón’s Oeuvre. In: Valdettaro S (ed.) Mediatizacion(s) Studies. CIM 10th Anniversary. Rosario, Argentina: UNR Editoria, pp. 78-106.

Focussing on the intrinsic amalgamation or interpenetration between the processes of mediatization, enunciation and décalage [semiotic gap or displacement, whereby meaning is produced by the fact that the very difference between the production and recognition/ reception of any discourse is always out of joint], this paper argues that Eliseo Verón’s concept of mediatization attempts to account for a process of rupture in the ontological as well as the epistemological status of modern societies’ structuration. Its principal aim is to trace what is considered to be one of the major historic-theoretical theses that traverses Verón’s oeuvre, by means of exploring two genealogical lines of analysis: (a) on the one hand, mediatization as the condition of possibility for the emergence of a ternary way of thinking about language and meaning (i.e. the so-called ‘triadic models’ of the sign), and (b) conversely, the concept of décalage [semiotic lag or constitutive interval in meaning-making processes] between production and recognition–the constitutive kernel of meaning– is examined as the argumentative surface of emergence of Verón’s concept of ‘mediatization’. From a chronological viewpoint, however, the concept of décalage predates, in the course of his work, that of mediatization: the latter was, in effect, not elaborated as such until the 1980s and 1990s, whereas the former had been formulated, and further developed in the historical process of his thought, since at least the mid-1970s. The article argues that: (a) the concept of mediatization could only emerge from another concept (i.e. décalage) that was not only interdependent, but which also preceded it both logically and genealogically; and (b) Verón’s conception of language and meaning is also inseparable from that of mediatization

Mediatization, enunciation - social semiosis, Eliseo Verón , décalage [semiotic gap between production and recognition] , écart [distance, deviation]

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online30/09/2021
PublisherUNR Editoria
Publisher URL…10th-anniversary
Place of publicationRosario, Argentina