Semiophores in Multimodal Communication: Verbal and Visual Representation of Cultural Values. Soviet and British Candy Wrappers of the Latter Half of the 20th Century as a Case Study

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The article considers complex semiophore analysis of Soviet and British candy wrappers representing social and cultural development of Soviet and British society in a certain period of time. Examination of non-trivial research material, definition of the term “semiophore” and the development of a complex method of semiophore analysis make the presented research relevant. Semiophores are indicated by the authors as derivative multimodal semiotic objects that represent historical, political and cultural identity in different ways. The authors have examined 53 candy wrappers, among which 30 candy wrappers are of a Soviet and 23 ones are of a British origin. All of them were produced in late 20th century. Candy wrappers being semiophores are considered as a complex of associated, functional, pragmatic, logical and semantic connections. This causes a necessity to develop a complex methodology of semiophores analysis. As a result, a complex method of semiophore analysis has been elaborated. The method has been applied in research of Soviet and British candy wrappers of the latter half of the twentieth century. The authors have concluded that in most cases the verbal and visual components that form the structure of a candy wrapper correspond to each other and actualize the image presented on it. All images presented on the Soviet wrappers can be thematically divided into various groups, for example, some candy wrappers represent crucial historical events, literary characters, cultural phenomena and architectural objects of Russian cities. In general, the images presented on the Soviet candy wrappers perform an educational function, contribute to the formation of cultural, national, political identity and self-identity of Russians. British candy wrappers are characterized by a simple design and usually present the name and look of the product. At the same time, the name of a product has a clear structure and informs the consumer about the manufacturer and the content of the product. Unlike the Soviet candy wrappers, the British candy wrappers were found to be primarily aimed at providing product information and advertising the product. The authors are eager to apply the developed complex methodology to the analysis of other types of semiophores in their further research.

About the authors

Kristina O. Vetrova

Perm State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1421-1170

Lecturer of the Department of Linguodidactics of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literatures

15, Bukireva St., Perm, Russian Federation, 614990

Svetlana L. Mishlanova

Perm State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3332-9753

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Linguodidactics of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literatures

15, Bukireva St., Perm, Russian Federation, 614990


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Copyright (c) 2021 Vetrova K.O., Mishlanova S.L.

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