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Identities across Media and Modes: Discursive Perspectives

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Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone and Paola Catenaccio

The recognition that identity is mutable, multi-layered and subject to multiple modes of construction and de-construction has contributed to problematizing the issues associated with its representation in discourse, which has recently been attracting increasing attention in different disciplinary areas. Identity representation is the main focus of this volume, which analyses instances of multimedia and multimodal communication to the public at large for commercial, informative, political or cultural purposes. In particular, it examines the impact of the increasingly sophisticated forms of expression made available by the evolution of communication technologies, especially in computer-mediated or web-based settings, but also in more traditional media (press, cinema, TV). The basic assumption shared by all contributors is that communication is the locus where identities, either collective, social or individual, are deliberately constructed and negotiated.
In their variety of topics and approaches, the studies collected in this volume testify to the criticality of representing personal, professional and organizational identities through the new media, as their ability to reach a virtually unlimited audience amplifies the potential political, cultural and economic impact of discursive identity constructions. They also confirm that new highly sophisticated media can forge identities well beyond the simply iconic or textual representation, generating deeply interconnected webs of meaning capable of occupying an expanding – and adaptable – discursive space.

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FRANCESCA SANTULLI Trademarks in Tourist Communication: Semiotic Structure and Cultural Implications 87

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FRANCESCA SANTULLI Trademarks in Tourist Communication: Semiotic Structure and Cultural Implications 1. Introduction 1.1. Context and aim Within the large and diversified area of promotional communication, a relatively autonomous status can be recognised to texts aiming to promote tourist destinations. Apart from their increasing importance linked to the strategic role of tourism in modern economies, they display special features deriving from the very nature of the com- modity they promote: places. As a matter of fact, there is no material object to be bought, nor a pure service offered to potential clients: what destination promotion in its most typical form offers to its target is the image of a place. This image is obviously made up of some physical, cultural and ethnic features selected from the real world, but inevitably implies the construction of a unique and attracting identity, which transforms reality into a dreamlike dimension.1 In this context, a key role is played by trademarks, which function as a ‘signature’ and single out a country, a region, a city or even a local area as an autonomous and easily identifiable ‘tourist resort’, with its own and unique value, synthesized in a single and highly cohesive whole, though often including different and articu- lated components. The aim of this chapter is to show how trademarks contribute to the creation of the identity of a place: firstly, the structure of this 1 Held (2008) has synthesized this concept exploiting a German minimal pair: Der Raum als Traum (lit. ‘Space as a...

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