Publication details [#67627]

Adegoju, Adeyemi. 2017. “We have to tell our own story”: Semiotics of resisting negative stereotypes of Nigeria in the heart of Africa nation branding campaign. Social Semiotics 27 (2) : 158–177.
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This study examines the semiotic resources deployed in resisting negative stereotypes of Nigeria in the international community, particularly representations of the country in the Western media. Data for the study were drawn from Nigeria's Heart of Africa nation branding campaign. The study applies the discourse-historical approach (DHA) pioneered by Ruth Wodak of the Vienna School of CDA. DHA attempts to integrate much available knowledge about the historical sources and the background of the social and political fields in which discursive events are embedded. Further applying Reisigl and Wodak's presentation of the discursive strategies normally oriented towards understanding texts related to nations and national identities, among others, the study reveals that in appropriating the semiotic resources in the campaign, the discourse producers have predilection for the discursive strategies of mitigating negative attributes which the out-group intensifies, and highlighting positive attributes which the out-group seemingly under-reports in its representations of Nigeria. Notwithstanding the rhetorical dynamics of the semiotic resources, the study concludes that enduring national image management thrives on creating new images and associations lived by a country's citizens rather than tries to refute old ones.