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Forty years of IKEA kitchens and the rise of a neoliberal control of domestic space
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3295-3602
2018 (English)In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article uses a social semiotic approach to look at the representations and designs of kitchens in the IKEA catalogue from 1975 until 2016. The authors find a shift from function to lifestyle of the order observed by scholars of advertising. But using Fairclough’s concepts of ‘technologization’ in Discourse and Social Change (1992) and Van Leeuwen’s New Writing (2006) concept, they are able to dig deeper to show that there are four stages of kitchen that become, they argue, more and more codified, with increasing prescription over the meaning of space and also regarding what takes place there. Such coding aligns with the ideas, values and identities of neoliberalism: ‘flexible’, ‘dynamic’, ‘creative’, ‘solutions’ and ‘self-management’. The authors show how the features of New Writing allow a suppression of actual causalities and context, and permit symbolic and indexical meanings to take over. Domestic life itself becomes technologized, coded and stripped down to a number of symbols and indexical meanings which assemble easily into the requirements of the neoliberal order.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018.
Keywords [en]
furniture design; IKEA; multimodality; neoliberalism; New Writing; semiotics
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-66850DOI: 10.1177/1470357218762601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-66850DiVA, id: diva2:1202896
Available from: 2018-05-02 Created: 2018-05-02 Last updated: 2018-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Machin, David

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