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In the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology, symbolic system refers to a system of interconnected symbolic meanings. In particular, the field focuses on the dynamic relationships between various symbols within different task or theoretical contexts. This can be extended to anything concerning humans or computers manipulating symbols in a structured format that produces a higher layer of meaning than the physical message medium. Examples of symbolic systems include natural language, programming languages, mathematical logic, and non-verbal communication. Symbols can also be intuitively generated to represent specific meanings.
For complex systems of symbols, the term is preferred to symbolism, which explains the symbolic meaning of a single cultural phenomenon.
See also 
- Structural anthropology
- Symbolic anthropology
- Symbolic interactionism
- Claude Lévi-Strauss
- Symbolic (disambiguation)
- Symbolism (disambiguation)
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