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  • 1.
    Archer, Arlene
    et al.
    University of Cape Town, South Africa.
    Westberg, Gustav
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Establishing authenticity and commodifying difference: a social semiotic analysis of Sámi jeans2020In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates a semiotic phenomenon within the global fashion industry: the branding of designer jeans as ‘authentic’ and ‘genuinely local’, focusing on the Swedish brand Sarva. Drawing on a social semiotics approach, the authors see authenticity as a discursive construct and look at the ways in which Sarva authenticate their jeans as Sámi in multimodal texts. The aim is: (1) to reveal how places and narratives are commodified in texts that accompany the jeans; and (2) to explore how authenticity is materially instantiated in the jeans by using different resources. The article focuses on the connotative provenance and affordances of different semiotic materials for the rendering of authenticity. The analysis of the jeans as semiotic entities reveals how the thickness of the garment, texture and leather details, and the choice of materials, languages as well as iconography, evoke ideas about historical and local ‘Sáminess’, whilst at the same time indexing a global ideology that regiments what quality jeans are. The analysis shows how authenticity can be reinvented and relocated in ways that allow a commodity to travel between the local and the global. It also shows how this movement is not neutral or straightforward, but rooted in power relations that underlie globalization and advanced capitalism.

  • 2.
    Björkvall, Anders
    Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för nordiska språk, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Book review: DAVID MACHIN, Introduction to Multimodal Analysis2008In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 123-127Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Bouvier, Gwen
    Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland.
    Clothing and meaning making: a multimodal approach to women’s abayas2017In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 187-207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article takes a multimodal discourse approach to women’s fashion in the Middle East. It places the Islamic abaya in the UAE in the context of the wider literature on fashion and identity, exploring the way in which clothing features and forms can prescribe ideas, values and attitudes, and framing this discussion within newer ideas on globalization. As Roland Barthes argued, it is not so much personal choice or diversity in fashion that is of interest, but the kinds of values and expected behaviours that they imply. The abaya, on the one hand, represents a more newly arrived idea of traditional, local and religious identity, linking to some extent to an imagined sense of a monolithic notion of Islamic clothing. But, on the other hand, this is itself reformulated locally through international representations, ideas and values, and integrated with newer ideas of taste.

  • 4.
    Chen, Ariel
    et al.
    Sch Journalism Media & Cultural Studies, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff, UK.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    The local and the global in the visual design of a Chinese women's lifestyle magazine: a multimodal critical discourse approach2014In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 287-301Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article uses a multimodal critical discourse analytic approach to analyse how a Chinese women's magazine has changed visually over 17 years, partly through the gradual adoption of international branding design styles and partly through consumer product influences from Japan that are used to recontextualize core Chinese values and women's identities. The authors conclude that, like established international magazine brands, this title signifies freedom, but of a very different order to that found in those counterparts.

  • 5.
    Ledin, Per
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Machin, David
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Forty years of IKEA kitchens and the rise of a neoliberal control of domestic space2019In: Visual Communication, ISSN 1470-3572, E-ISSN 1741-3214, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 165-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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