The Impact of Symbolic Culture on the Understanding of Visual Figuration in a Cross-Cultural Environment

María Calzada-Pérez (1)
(1) Universitat Jaume I, Spain, Spain


This paper focuses on the understanding of visual rhetorical figures as they appear in today’s globalized advertising. A sound theoretical model (i.e., Phillips and McQuarrie 2004) is first reviewed to select a good representative sampling (i.e., 9 advertisements) of the behaviour domain measured. Then, a population of 60 English language students are questioned regarding these 9 advertisements. This study uses a combined methodology, resorting to basic quantitative data to reveal qualitative findings. Our discussion supports prior research (Callister and Stern 2008: 148) indicating that culture is essential for image understanding in a cross-cultural environment and stands in opposition to those who act on the assumption that visuals are universal and therefore understandable in all cultures of the world (Levitt 1983).

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María Calzada-Pérez (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

María Calzada-Pérez, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

María Calzada-Pérez is Full Professor of Translation Studies at the Universitat Jaume I (Spain). Her research focuses on the discourse of advertising, corpus-based translation studies, translation paedagogy and translation and ideology. On advertising, she has published papers such as: (i) Calzada-Pérez, M. (2005).“Proactive Translatology vis-à-vis Advertising Messages”. Meta. Translator’s Journal, 50(4); (ii) Calzada Pérez, M. (2007) “Translating Conflict. Advertising in a Globalised Era”. In M. Salama-Carr (Ed.) Translating and Interpreting Conflict (pp. 149-165). Amsterdam: Rodopi; (iii) Calzada Pérez, M. (2007) “Translated hypermodality. A Descriptive Analysis of Translation-related Electronic Material”. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 149-170; (iv) Calzada Pérez, M. (2007). “Translators and Translation Studies Scholars as Inoculators of Resistance”. The Translator, 13(2), 243-269; (v) Calzada Pérez, M. (2007) “A Translational Hypermodal Approach to Web Advertising: The case of Procter & Gamble”. In A. Baldry and E. Montagna (Eds), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Multimodality: Theory and Practice (pp. 173-188) Campobasso: Palladino Editore.; (vi) Calzada Pérez, M. (2008) “La recepción de figuras retóricas de textos publicitarios”. Quaderns 15, 169; (vii) Calzada Pérez, M. (2011). “Una aproximación empírica a la clasificación y traducción de las figuras retóricas en la publicidad”. Babel, 57(1), 32-57.

Calzada-Pérez, M. (2017). The Impact of Symbolic Culture on the Understanding of Visual Figuration in a Cross-Cultural Environment. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 17(2), 1–18.

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