Tateo & Marsico (2021): Signs as borders and borders as signs
I: Theory & Psychology. Online first. Open Access
Luca Tateo & Giuseppina Marsico
This article focuses on bordering as a fundamental semiotic process of human psychological functioning. First, we discuss similarities between semiosis and bordering and explore their relationships. In the perspective of cultural psychology of semiotic dynamics, psychic life is a process of purposeful production and interpretation of signs, carried out through cycles of culturally guided, selective internalization and externalization. Signs and borders are not only entities “out there”: they emerge in the purposeful movement of the organism in the course of future-oriented action in everyday life. Second, we discuss borders in mind and society as particular types of signs, through which humans regulate their own and others’ conduct. Finally, we propose a general genetic law of bordering development: borders are first conceived as tools created and established by humans as interpsychic activities. Later, the sign is internalized and begins to regulate psychological functioning. It also becomes a psychological tool for dealing with other humans and with the environment.