Taken for Granted: Semiotic Asymmetry and the Sociocognitive Production of Normality

Eviatar Zerubavel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides a succinct and precise explanation of the social construction of normality. The distinction between marked (exceptional, debated) and unmarked (ordinary, disregarded) is explored through the lenses of the sociology of thinking. The characteristic semiotic asymmetry and lopsided distribution of sociocultural weight attached to different features are addressed, and the cognitive defaults underlying these processes are explored. Many examples regarding different fields of human behavior are provided. Finally, the author concludes by highlighting the persistence of sociosemiotic patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAgainst the Background of Social Reality
Subtitle of host publicationDefaults, Commonplaces, and the Sociology of the Unmarked
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781000932263
ISBN (Print)9780367433574
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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