Semiotics and qualitative research are often viewed as quite separate disciplines which can be used to explore consumer psychology. But the two methodologies are seldom integrated at a theoretical level. We offer our clients semiotics and/or qualitative research, but not ‘qualitative semiotics’.

C.S. Peirce developed an early form of semiotics which is often neglected by the marketing community. Critically, it enables this kind of methodological integration to take place. Peirce’s semiotics is not about understanding culture, or ‘cultural codes’; rather it is focused on how individuals use signs, and combinations of signs, to construct their own world.

This new application of semiotics enables researchers to understand how concepts develop in the minds of individual consumers – and, as a result, how they create their own meanings. As such, Peirce’s semiotics provides a new way of understanding the consumer mindset that can potentially enhance the capabilities of commercial qualitative research.

This event is free and open to MRS members, Company Partner and anyone in the research community interested in sharing best practice and professional networking.


Radisson Blu Edwardian - Manchester
Peter Street,Manchester,M2 5GP

Chris Barnham has run his own qualitative research consultancy since 1996. An author of several papers in the IJMR on qualitative theory, Chris also has a PhD in Semiotics from UCL.

6:00-6.30pm: Registration and refreshments

6.30-7.30pm: Presentation

7.30-8.30pm: Drinks and networking

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