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Book

Semiotics and Cultural Analysis

This chapter outlines the uses of semiotics and related methods of cultural analysis in commercial qualitative research. Whilst most qualitative methods involve direct contact with the consumer, semiotics and cultural analysis aim to interrogate consumer culture and marketing communications directly. This chapter begins by outlining the theoretical ideas upon which these methods of analysis are based, principally structural linguistics, cultural anthropology and the theory of consumption. It then goes on to outline how these ideas have been adapted in practice to explore the meanings of advertising, packaging, branding and other forms of marketing communications. Finally, some of the potential problems involved in using cultural analysis in qualitative market research are discussed. Chapter 1 reviewed the various criticisms levelled against conventional qualitative market research methods. Interviews and group discussions, it has been suggested, rely too much upon the consumer and upon the idea that he or she is self-aware, self-determining and ...

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