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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the sociocognitive act of subverting the conventional semiotic asymmetry between what we culturally mark and what is habitually left unmarked and thereby assumed by default and thus taken for granted. Focusing on the mental processes of foregrounding and backgrounding (both separately and when they are combined), it highlights the politics of cognition as manifested in art, humor, academia, as well as everyday life.

Keywords: markedness, unmarkedness, taken-for-grantedness, foregrounding, backgrounding, assumption reversal, semiotic asymmetry, labeling, defamiliarization, deautomatization

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