Objects of Affection: Semiotics and Consumer Culture

Objects of Affection: Semiotics and Consumer Culture

by A. Berger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0230103731

ISBN-13: 2900230103732

Pub. Date: 07/20/2010

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US

'A fascinating investigation that explains semiotics, the science of signs, and shows how it can help us understand the way marketing and advertising shape our behavior as consumers and the way we use brands to help create our public identities. Semiotics deals with the messages we are always sending about ourselves by the clothes we wear, our facial expressions,

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Overview

'A fascinating investigation that explains semiotics, the science of signs, and shows how it can help us understand the way marketing and advertising shape our behavior as consumers and the way we use brands to help create our public identities. Semiotics deals with the messages we are always sending about ourselves by the clothes we wear, our facial expressions, our body language, and the objects we purchase. It also helps us learn how to interpret the messages that others are always sending to us. The book also analyzes a number of the "objects of our affection" such as toasters, teddy bears, hamburgers and computers. In the appendix, there are a number of learning games and activities that involve using semiotics to better understand consumer culture"--Provided by publisher.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900230103732
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
07/20/2010
Series:
Semiotics and Popular Culture Series
Edition description:
2010
Pages:
198

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Part I Semiotic Theory

1 The Science of Signs 3

The Semiotic Theories of Saussure and Peirce: An Overview 5

Some Contemporary Semiotic Theorists 11

Symbols 14

Denotation and Connotation 15

Metaphor and Metonymy 16

Language and Speech 20

Codes 23

Acura: An Example of Applied Semiotic Analysis 27

No Sign as a Sign 28

Signs within Signs 29

Signs that Lie 29

2 Consumer Cultures 33

Defining Consumer Cultures 34

The Sacred Origin of Consumer Cultures 36

Psychological Imperatives in Consumer Cultures 40

Marxist Theory and Consumer Cultures 42

Jean Baudrillard on Advertising and Consumer Cultures 46

3 Marketing Theory and Semiotics 55

Ernest Dichter and Motivation Research 56

Mary Douglas and Grid-Group Theory 58

New Strategist Publications 61

Claritas Explains That "Birds of a Feather Flock Together" 62

Complications for Marketers 68

Semiotics and Marketing Theory 69

Part II Semiotic Applications

4 Brands and Identity: We Are Our Brands 75

Fashion and Identity 76

Semiotics and Brands 78

Style Choices and Identity 81

Hats 81

Hair 84

Folklore, Myths, and Hair 85

A Semiotic Approach to Hairstyles in the Eighties 86

Blondeness: The Importance of Hair Color 87

Designer Eyeglasses and Sunglasses 88

Teeth 90

Wristwatches 92

Facial Hair in Men 95

Fragrances 97

Brand Narcissism and L'Oreal Fragrances 98

Neckties 101

Shoes 104

Handbags and Messenger Bags 107

Brand Extensions and Lifestyle Signifiers 110

Style and the Postmodern Problematic 112

5 The Objects of Our Affection 115

Coffee 117

The Toaster 122

Swaddling Cloths 126

The "Evangelical" Hamburger 129

French-Fried Potatoes 131

Fountain Pens and Ink 134

Bikinis 136

Vodka 138

Beer 141

Veils 143

Cornflakes 145

White Bread 148

Bagels 151

Myst 153

Furniture 156

Teddy Bears 158

Soap Powders and Detergents 160

Vacuum Cleaners 162

Computers 164

6 Learning Games and Activities 169

Time Capsule 169

Visit America Brochure 170

Your Brands and What They Reveal 171

Socioeconomic Classes and Brands 172

Automobiles and Personality 173

Spending Spree 173

Insights and Interesting Ideas 174

7 Coda 175

The Origins of the Objects of Our Affection 175

The Complexity of Objects 177

People Watching and Artifact Analysis 178

The MP3 Shuffle and the Pastiche 180

The Semiotic Perspective and Being "Far Out" 181

Brands and the Self 182

Semiotics: It's Still With Me 183

Bibliography 185

Index 191

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