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英国留学生论文定制:Male-perfume advertising in men

时间:2015-09-02 17:03来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

Male-perfume advertising in men's magazines and visual discourse in contemporary Britain : a social semiotics approach

Abstract : This paper explores the construction of the visual discourse of male-perfume advertising in British men's magazines. Thus, the particularities of visual discourse are discussed first of all. Drawing upon social semiotics as an analytical framework, the article examines the articulation of the `new man´ in this form of print-media discourse, focusing on such visual dimensions as the visual structure of representation, the position of the viewer, aspects of modality and the meaning of composition. The results of this study are finally placed in the socio-cultural context accounting for the production and consumption of this form of visual discourse on masculinity in contemporary Britain .

Abstract : Cet article aborde l'analyse de la construction du discours visuel des annonces publicitaires de parfum pour homme dans les magazines masculins au Royaume-Uni. On y aborde avant tout les particularités de ce discours visuel au moyen de la sémiotique sociale. Celle-ci nous sert de modèle analytique pour étudier l'articulation du `new man´ dans ce type de discours médiatique, en insistant sur la dimension de l'aspect visuel : la structure visuelle de la représentation, la position du spectateur, la modalité et la signification de la composition. Les résultats de cette étude sont finalement situés dans le contexte socioculturel qui justifie la production et consommation de cette forme de discours visuel sur la masculinité dans la Grande-Bretagne d'aujourd'hui.


keywords: visual discourse, masculinity, male-perfume advertising, `new man´, social semiotics

1. Introduction
The fact that women and men behave in accordance with specific parameters when defining themselves as gendered subjects leads authors like Mills (1997: 17) to assume the existence of different discourses on masculinity and femininity in society. Considering a classical definition by Michel Foucault, within contemporary cultural theory, discourses have come to designate "the practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak" (1972: 49). Men's magazines have thus become a fundamental vehicle for the representation of the `new man´, a renovated image of masculinity characterised by his embrace of feminine universes, his deeper concern over personal looks and the greater importance attached to dimensions like fathering. Focusing on such a print-media vehicle consumed by men in Britain, this contribution will explore the construction of the `new man´ in the discourse on masculinity articulated in the perfume advertisements published in these publications, shedding light on the articulation of this form of visual discourse [1].
Once admitted the existence of the visual as a form of discourse, social semiotics will be presented as an instrument for the analysis of this type of discourse, only to explore a corpus of male-fragrance advertisements published in 1999 in men's general-interest magazines like GQ , Arena, Maxim , FHM, Esquire and ZM in the UK. In particular, a number of analytical dimensions - the visual structure of representation, the position of the viewer, modality and the meaning of composition - will be examined insofar as contributing to the articulation of the `new man´ in this form of visual discourse. The results of this study will be finally placed in the socio-cultural context accounting for the production and consumption of this form of visual discourse on masculinity in Britain at the turn of the millennium.

2. Exploring visual discourse

2.1. The visual as a form of discourse

The notion of `discourse´ has been approached from different perspectives. Some theorists insist on its relation with language, defining discourse as any form of language above the sentence level (Stubbs, 1983: 1); any form of oral language (Alcaraz and Martínez, 1997: 185); or any form of language in use of used language (Brown and Yule, 1983: 1). However, discourses have also been understood as forms of social practice of linguistic nature:
`discourse´ (...) refers to language in use, as a process which is socially situated. However (...) we may go on to discuss the constructive and dynamic role of either spoken or written discourse in structuring areas of knowledge and the social and institutional practices which are associated with them (Candlin, 1997: ix).
As announced in the introduction, within contemporary socio-cultural theory, authors like Foucault have seen discourses as practices that systematically form the objects with which they deal. Therefore, discourses often cease being practices of linguistic nature to acquire a non-linguistic nature - more often than not visual:
Discourse reaches out further than language itself. When we think of discourse in the wider context of communication, we can extend its analysis to include non-linguistic semiotic systems (systems for signalling meaning), those of non-verbal and non-vocal communication which accompany or replace speech or writing [...] non-verbal discourse modes include painting, sculpture, photography, design, music and film (Jaworski and Coupland, 1999: 7).
As stressed by Fairclough, the visual is often closely interwoven with verbal communication, and may even be found in the form of autonomous nonverbal communication:
It would be quite artificial to conceive of discourse in exclusively verbal terms. Even when texts are essentially verbal [...] talk is interwoven with gesture, facial expression, movement, posture to such an extent that it cannot be properly understood without reference to these `extras´. Let's call them collectively visuals, on the grounds that they are also visually perceived by interpreters. Visuals can be an accompaniment to talk which helps determine its meaning [...] Or visual can substitute for talk as a perfectly acceptable alternative (1989: 27). (责任编辑:BUG)



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