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Textuality and Contextuality

Cross-Cultural Advertising from the Perspective of High- vs. Low-Context Cultures in Europe

by Aneta Smolińska (Author)
Thesis 278 Pages

Summary

This study offers a contrastive analysis of culturally grounded differences in discourse by comparing advertising strategies in three European languages: (British) English, French and Polish. Taking a critical stance and considering changes through globalisation, the author aims to find out to what extent the classic distinction between high-context (individualist) and low-context (collectivist) cultures can be empirically maintained. To paint a differentiated picture, the investigation combines findings from Sociology, Anthropological and Discourse Linguistics and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods. The data reveal ground-breaking differences in the use of foreign languages, the relation between text and images and the interaction between advertising images and readers.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Series editor’s introduction
  • Table of Contents
  • List of figures, tables, and graphs
  • Abbreviations used in the database
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Culture – theoretical and analytical perspectives
  • 2.1. What is the definition of culture?
  • 2.2. Theory of high- and low-context cultures
  • 2.3. High- vs. low-context cultures in light of Individualism Index Values
  • 2.4. Differentiation of advertising messages between high- and low-context cultures
  • 2.4.1. Appeal of advertisements with respect to cultural context
  • 2.4.1.1. Social identity and sensitivity based on cultural principles in advertising
  • 2.4.1.2. Time and spatial aspects as indicators of culture as depicted in high- and low-context messages
  • 2.4.2. Different communication styles influenced by cultural context in advertising
  • 2.5. Methodology
  • 2.6. Analysis of the existence of verbal text in advertising
  • 2.7. Conclusion
  • Chapter 3: Concepts of reality and their representations in the cultural system
  • 3.1. First and second reality concepts through the prism of culture
  • 3.2. Communication as individual cultural depiction
  • 3.3. Foreign languages and culture
  • 3.4. Foreign languages in advertising discourse
  • 3.4.1. Foreign languages as a means of communication
  • 3.4.2. Foreign languages for identification
  • 3.5. Methodology
  • 3.6. General analysis
  • 3.6.1. A glance into the history of fragrances and advertisements
  • 3.6.1.1. Records of perfume’s origins
  • 3.6.1.2. Establishment of advertising
  • 3.6.1.3. Beginnings of perfume promotion
  • 3.6.1.4. Use of foreign languages in perfume print advertisements around the world
  • 3.6.2. Use of foreign languages in perfume print advertisements in the gathered data
  • 3.6.3. Use of specific languages in perfume print advertisements in the UK, France and Poland
  • 3.6.3.1. Use of specific languages in British advertising
  • 3.6.3.2. Use of specific languages in French advertising
  • 3.6.3.3. Use of specific languages in Polish advertising
  • 3.6.4. Employment of place names in fragrance advertising of the three selected countries
  • 3.7. Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: Interpreting text-image(s) relations
  • 4.1. Textuality of pictures
  • 4.2. Concept of a sign
  • 4.2.1. Saussurean and Peircean views of a sign
  • 4.2.2. Barthes’ recognition of a sign
  • 4.3. Signs and culture in advertising messages
  • 4.4. Methodology
  • 4.5. Analysis
  • 4.5.1. Text-image(s) relations in general
  • 4.5.2. Depiction of icon, index and symbol use in fragrance advertising
  • 4.5.3. Representation of index use in fragrance advertising in light of the subject matter
  • 4.5.3.1. Index of places demonstrated in fragrance advertising
  • 4.5.3.2. Index of emotions and feelings demonstrated in fragrance advertising
  • 4.5.3.3. Index of activities and actions demonstrated in fragrance advertising
  • 4.5.3.4. Index of product characteristics demonstrated in fragrance advertising
  • 4.5.3.5. Index of brands demonstrated in fragrance advertising
  • 4.6. Conclusion
  • Chapter 5: Concepts and issues involving the idea of visual and verbal languages arrangements and ways to interpret them
  • 5.1. Layout in print advertising
  • 5.2. Visual and verbal phenomena found in advertising messages
  • 5.2.1. Verbal modality in advertising messages
  • 5.2.2. Visual modality in advertising messages
  • 5.2.3. Sensory modality in advertising messages
  • 5.3. Layout read through a cultural prism
  • 5.3.1. Sign recognition within the advertising frame
  • 5.3.2. Contextualization as a culture marker in advertising structure
  • 5.4. Methodology
  • 5.5. Analysis
  • 5.5.1. General analysis of layout related to the characteristics of past and future references
  • 5.5.1.1. Content-related analysis for left-right arrangements in the British records
  • 5.5.1.2. Content-related analysis of left-right arrangements in the French records
  • 5.5.1.3. Content-related analysis of left-right arrangements in the Polish records
  • 5.6. General analysis of layout related to the characteristics of visual modality factors represented in layout and expressing probability
  • 5.6.1. Top-bottom arrangement in the UK
  • 5.6.2. Top-bottom arrangement in France
  • 5.6.3. Top-bottom arrangement in Poland
  • 5.7. Analysis of specific layouts in the countries investigated concerning four-corner arrangements
  • 5.7.1. Arrangements of layout considering product-bottle placement in the UK
  • 5.7.2. Arrangements of layout considering product-bottle placement in France
  • 5.7.3. Arrangements of layout considering product-bottle placement in Poland
  • 5.8. Conclusion
  • Chapter 6: Verbal and visual interaction between advertising images and readers
  • 6.1. Reader-writer interaction
  • 6.1.1. Representation of actors and actions in advertising discourse
  • 6.2. Verbal text characteristics in advertising communication
  • 6.2.1. Use of pronouns in advertisements
  • 6.2.2. Use of plural and singular forms in marketing communication
  • 6.3. Direct and indirect approaches in advertising communication
  • 6.4. Visual image characteristics in advertising
  • 6.5. Methodology
  • 6.6. General analysis
  • 6.6.1. General analysis of visual data in the range of singular/plural approaches expressed by the representation of people in the advertising frame
  • 6.6.2. General analysis of direct and indirect attitudes in visual depictions
  • 6.6.3. General analysis of verbal data in the range of singular/plural approaches expressed by the use of grammatical forms
  • 6.6.4. General analysis of direct and indirect attitudes in verbal depictions
  • 6.7. Content-related analysis of verbal and visual approaches in the data
  • 6.7.1. Content-related analysis of verbal approaches in the UK
  • 6.7.2. Content-related analysis of verbal approaches in France
  • 6.7.3. Content-related analysis of verbal approaches in Poland
  • 6.8. Conclusion
  • Conclusions and implications for further research
  • Bibliography

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List of figures, tables, and graphs

Figures

Fig. 2.1: Scale of high- and low-context cultures, adapted from Kamińska-Radomska (2004) and E. Hall and M. Hall (1990)

Fig. 2.2: Cultural communication styles according to Hall (adapted from Usunier 1991)

Fig. 2.3: Hofstede’s Individualism Index Value (IDV) classification

Fig. 3.1: Interpersonal verbal communication styles (de Mooij 2004b: 193), with permission from Marieke de Mooij, 12 August 2011

Fig. 3.2: Advertising styles (de Mooij 2004b: 193), with permission from Marieke de Mooij, 12 August 2011

Fig. 4.1: Saussure’s model of a sign

Fig. 4.2: System of Trivalent Signs by Peirce, adapted from Robert St. Clair (2002: 3)

Fig. 5.1: Dimensions of visual space

Fig. 5.2: Personal photograph from Oristano

Fig. 5.3: A representation of Fig. 5.2 with a high degree of contrast and brightness

Fig. 5.4: A representation of Fig. 5.2 with a high degree of contrast, colour saturation differentiation and modulation

Fig. 5.5: Natural modality slides, as demonstrated by Dormans, with permission from Joris Dormans, 13 February 2012

Fig. 5.6: Semantic network of associations of cross-modality predictions, as demonstrated by Peter Holz (2007: 200)

Fig. 5.7: General relations between creative strategy and communication styles, with permission from Marc Hermeking, 14 February 2012

Fig. 5.8: Formal features of medium and content features as modality cues, based on Chandler (1998: 44)

Tables

Table 1.1: Research question and hypotheses of the reasearch

Table 2.1: Differences between low- and high-context cultures, based on Murdoch (1999: 73–74)

Table 2.2: Design differences between low- and high-context societies ← 13 | 14 →

Table 2.3: Figures for quartile ranges showing the distribution of words in the UK, France and Poland, including fragrance and brand names

Table 2.4: Definite figures for quartile ranges for the distribution of words in the UK, France and Poland, excluding fragrance and/or brand names

Table 2.5: Results of a Wilcoxon test for the three pairs of examined countries including fragrance and brand names

Table 2.6: Results of a Wilcoxon test for the three pairs of examined countries without fragrance and/or brand names

Table 3.1: Employment of native and/or foreign languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland

Table 3.2: Employment of specific languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland

Table 3.3: Use of place names in advertisements from the UK, France and Poland (numbers of all examples)

Table 4.1: Basic analysis of layers of meaning in ads according to Frith’s theory, based on a men’s underwear advertisement from Under Armour

Table 4.2: Employment of icons, indices and symbols in fragrance advertisements from the UK, France and Poland

Table 4.3: Residuals generated, computed from the data in Table 4.2

Table 4.4: Representation of indices according to their theme in the data gathered

Table 5.1: Product placement in the three countries investigated considering ‘given’ and ‘new’ aspects

Table 5.2: Product placement in three investigated countries considering ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ aspects

Table 5.3: Product placement and composition in the three investigated countries, namely the UK, France and Poland, considering all possible arrangements

Table 6.1: Visual representation of advertising images in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Table 6.2: Visual representation of direct and indirect attitudes in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Table 6.3: Verbal representation of singular and plural forms in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Table 6.4: Verbal representation of direct and indirect approaches in fragrance advertisements from the UK, France and Poland ← 14 | 15 →

Graphs

Graph 2.1: Distribution of words in the UK, France and Poland including fragrance and brand names

Graph 2.2: Distribution of words in the UK, France and Poland, excluding fragrance and brand names

Graph 3.1: Appearance of fragrances on the world market, considering their country of origin (Smolińska 2005: 22–24 and a personal investigation in 2008)

Graph 3.2: Appearance of European fragrances in the European market, considering their country of origin (Smolińska 2005: 22–24 and a personal investigation in 2008)

Graph 3.3: Employment of native and/or foreign languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 3.4: Employment of native and/or foreign languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland according to their relative frequencies of occurrence

Graph 3.5: Employment of specific languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 3.6: Employment of specific languages in advertisements published in the UK, France and Poland according to their relative frequencies of occurrence

Graph 3.7: Use of languages in advertisements from the UK (numbers of examples)

Graph 3.8: Use of languages in advertisements from France (numbers of examples)

Graph 3.9: Use of languages in advertisements that appeared in Poland (numbers of examples)

Graph 3.10: Use of place names in advertisements that appeared in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 4.1: Employment of icons, indices and symbols in fragrance advertisements from the UK, France and Poland

Graph 4.2: Representation of indices according to their theme in the data

Graph 5.1: Representation of product-image placement in the three countries investigated, considering left, right and central positions

Graph 5.2: Product placement in three investigated countries considering ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ aspects ← 15 | 16 →

Graph 5.3: Product-placement composition in the three investigated countries, namely the UK, France and Poland, considering all possible arrangements

Graph 5.4: Image frequencies for product placement in the advertising frames of British, French and Polish print advertisements, considered as one database

Graph 6.1: Visual representation of advertising images in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 6.2: Visual representation of direct and indirect attitudes in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 6.3: Verbal representation of singular and plural forms in fragrance advertisements in the UK, France and Poland

Graph 6.4: Verbal representation of direct and indirect approaches in fragrance advertisements from the UK, France and Poland

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Abbreviations used in the database

B at the bottom

BL bottom left corner

BR bottom right corner

C centre

COL collectivism

df distribution-free

DKNY Donna Karen New York

EFL English as a Foreign Language

EIL English as an International Language

IDV Individualism Index Values

IND individualism

L left side

L1 English as the first language

L2 English as the second language

No number

PDI Power Distance Index

R right side

T at the top

TL top left corner

TR top right corner

UAI Uncertainty Avoidance Index

W Wilcoxon test

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Chapter 1: Introduction

German’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer introduced a headache pill on billboards throughout the Middle East showing three photos: on the left, a picture of a grim-looking man with a bad headache; in the middle, the photo of the man taking a pill; on the right, a photo of the man smiling, looking relived and happy. The campaign failed miserably.1

(Kotler et al. 2009: 467)

Details

Pages
278
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631706442
ISBN (PDF)
9783653062397
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631706459
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631668771
Language
English
Publication date
2017 (July)
Tags
Linguistics Advertising Discourse High- versus Low-Context Cultures Intercultural Discourses
Published
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 278 pp., 37 graphs, 21 tables

Biographical notes

Aneta Smolińska (Author)

Aneta Smolińska studied Russian and English Linguistics in Łódź and Lancaster where she received a master’s degree. Later she became a PhD student in English Linguistics at the University of Greifswald. Her research interests lie in Anthropological Linguistics, Discourse Analysis and the interaction of verbal and visual communication.

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Title: Textuality and Contextuality