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Smell as Social Semiotic: On the Deployment and Intersemiotic Potential of Smell

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1. Title Title of document Smell as Social Semiotic: On the Deployment and Intersemiotic Potential of Smell - Analyzing the Media
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Daniel Fryer; Østfold University College, Norway; Norway
3. Subject Discipline(s) Linguistics
4. Subject Keyword(s) systemic functional linguistics; media; multimodality; semiotics; news; journalistic genres; sense of smell; estate agent use of smell; smellscape;
5. Subject Subject classification Media Studies; Systemic Functional Linguistics
6. Description Abstract Our sense of smell is mediated by physicochemical and biological interactions. This sense is part of the material basis for what we might call a mode of smell, a socially mediated semiotic system (van Leeuwen 2005, Norris 2013). The resources of such systems or modes, to the extent that they are recognized as such, are rarely if ever deployed alone, but as part of a multisemiotic arrangement (van Leeuwen 2005, Kress 2010, Norris 2013). Here, I discuss the meaning potential of smell by considering how social actors produce, manipulate, combine, and organize certain smells to create sophisticated ‘messages’ that can be interpreted and evaluated by others. As an example, I examine real-estate agents’ use of specific smells, created among other things by preparing coffee and cinnamon buns, as part of open-house viewings. I consider the potential meanings encoded by those and other smells in the ‘smellscape’ (Margolies 2006, Porteous 2006, Pennycook and Otsuji 2015) in that particular context of situation (Malinowski 1923). I also discuss the use of those resources as part of a multisemiotic event or activity that includes the co-deployment of verbal, visual, and spatial resources. By considering some of the types and relative amounts or degrees of meaning instantiated through those different semiotic systems, I demonstrate how smell can be deployed to make meanings that are potentially complementary to as well as incongruent or inharmonious with those committed verbally, visually, and spatially (see Hood 2008, Martin 2011, and Painter, Martin, and Unsworth 2013, inter alia, on ‘commitment’).
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Sep-2019
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.32955
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Analyzing the Media
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd