Taboo in Advertising
Taboos are much more than just a synonym of ‘forbidden’. Proof of the concept’s complexity can be found in the way ads often try to hide the taboo inherent to their products or, conversely, in the way certain taboo readings are foregrounded on purpose in other ads. This volume shows why and how that happens, using print and television ads to exemplify (a) the elaborate strategies used by ads for certain products to cleverly hide the taboo inherent to them, and (b) the deliberate recourse to taboo references in ads for products that do not present any taboo connotation. The linguistic analysis undertaken takes into account the different modes (verbal language, music, sound effects, moving and static images) that convey meaning in ads. Taboo is very often conveyed or disguised through one of the channels while the others play the opposite role, thus achieving a balance that prevents the ad from being too obscure to be understood or too daring for the general public to accept it. For this comprehensive approach, concepts are drawn from different disciplines: textual and semiotic analysis from linguistics, theories of taboo from anthropology, and background to advertising from media studies.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 179] 2008. xix, 214 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
List of tables | pp. ix–x
List of figures | pp. xi–xii
Foreword | pp. xiii–xv
Acknowledgements | pp. xvii–xix
Introduction | pp. 1–21
1. Taboo | pp. 23–40
2. Advertising | pp. 41–62
3. Words & images | pp. 63–101
4. Images, word & humour | pp. 103–125
5. Words, images, sound & narratives | pp. 127–167
6. Summarising: Sanpro ads | pp. 169–195
Conclusion | pp. 197–202
Index | pp. 211–214
“[...] there is [...] an awful lot of excellent analysis going on in this text, and it should constitute required reading for anyone interested in discourse analysis in any of the following subject areas: advertising, embarrassment, morality, multi-modality, offense, politeness, and, of course, taboo.”
Joseph Burridge, Independent scholar, in Discourse Studies, 11(2).
“Like other powerful discourses, advertising brings the most intimate topics into the public domain. By examining its presentation of the taboo, Elsa Simões goes to the very heart of this genre which encapsulates the problems and tensions of our era. This fascinating book is one of the best studies of advertising I know.”
Guy Cook, The Open University, Author of ‘The Discourse of Advertising’
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General