Pakistani Advertisement Discourse on Facebook: Reflections on Religio-Cultural Associations
Keywords:Advertisement discourse; brands; Facebook; discourse analysis; linguistic and semiotic features; religio- cultural associations
Discourse does not exist in isolation, rather it is created within social contexts and reflects the norms of the society in which it is produced and circulated.As Pakistan is a multilingual, multi-cultural country, its socio-cultural norms are diverse in nature. In this context the present research aims at examining the religio-cultural norms, traditions, and belief systems deeply rooted in the Pakistani society, that find expression in the Pakistani discourse of advertising. For this purpose data is collected from the official Facebook profiles of nine brands belonging to three different domains: clothing, food and cosmetics. The data analysis focuses on examining the linguistic, semiotic and thematic elements present in the advertisement texts in order to explore the concepts of religion, nationalism, culture, gender, etc. as presented in the Pakistani advertising discourse. The textual and thematic features of the discourse used in these advertisements are analyzed and integrated into Fairclough’s (1989) three dimensional Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) model to examine discourse and its meanings in social context. The findings indicate that by high-lighting the brand’s associations with certain religious, social and cultural events and customs in the advertisement texts shared on the Facebook pages, the advertising discourse provides insights into the existing social realities in Pakistan and shows how such discourses reflect the values, ideals and social meanings in the society. In other words, this research explores Pakistani discourse of advertising in terms of linguistic and religio-cultural implications as they emerge in the advertising discourse and to provide further understandings into the discourse practices in Pakistan. The study also helps in understanding the ways in which language is used in the Pakistani advertising discourse in the backdrop of indigenous socio- cultural contexts.
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