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Getting under the skin-whitening cultures: Discourses, rhetoric and representations across text types and media in Taiwan in the early 21st century

Lee, YJ 2014, Getting under the skin-whitening cultures: Discourses, rhetoric and representations across text types and media in Taiwan in the early 21st century , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This thesis concerns the ways in which the importance of practicing skin whitening is promoted and represented in newspaper advertorial articles and visual advertisements across different media in contemporary Taiwan, approximately between 2008 and 2012. Theoretically, it is inspired by structuralists such as Foucault in the discursive formation of discourse and knowledge legitimation, Bourdieu in classification of cultural consumptions, Barthes in the process of mythologisation, sociocultural theory in everyday practice and identity construction, and linguistic theories both from CDA and semiotics. Methodologically, I undertake qualitatively textual and visual analyses of articles from the Liberty Times newspaper, and graphic and video advertisements from product leaflets, television and the Internet. In terms of analytical approaches, CDA, semiotics and other critical visual analysing methods are applied to interpret and articulate dominant discourses, rhetorical tropes and representations of idealised female images with whitened skin. Through the exploratory investigation of the data, common themes such as scientific endorsed and legitimated discourses, an extended metaphor of fighting and the ability of whitening ingredients to penetrate/invade the skin are found in both textual and visual materials. In terms of results, the research echoes Foucault’s idea of interdiscursivity and suggests that these discourses are transferable and represented across both textual and visual media. Finally, a critical assessment is made on the extraction, appropriation and distribution of knowledge by cosmetics producers and the media to consumers; the hegemonic power of the mutual co-alignment between cosmeceutical industry, mass media, retailing channels, legislation, and advertising and research agencies intersected by ‘medical’ and ‘scientific’ qualities; and the implications behind the phenomenon of promoting skin whitening.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: YJ Lee
Date Deposited: 16 May 2014 10:47
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2016 13:02
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/30713

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