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“Communicating Adventure” A Semiotic Investigation of the UK Adventure Subculture of Motorcycling Consumption

Ghurbal, Victoria A. (2008) “Communicating Adventure” A Semiotic Investigation of the UK Adventure Subculture of Motorcycling Consumption. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    Abstract

    Changing cultural trends and increasing pressures and constraints on everyday life
    have led to a proliferation in the uptake of adventure pursuits in Western society.
    People are increasingly drawn to involvement in subcultures of high-risk extremity
    and adventure, and manufacturers, marketers and the media are commonly reflecting a
    discourse that ‘commodifies’ adventure experience in their wider cultural products
    and brands. This growth in the consumption of adventure has created an opportunity,
    and a necessity, for researchers, academics and practitioners alike to become involved
    in the development of adventure-leisure research and theory.
    This study takes the UK motorcycling subculture of adventure consumption as a unit
    of analysis, and employs a ‘holistic’ cultural approach to investigate meaningful
    consumption processes within, and relative to it. Specifically, it focuses on the role of
    consumers in contributing to the cultural world of motorcycling adventure
    consumption as well as the significance of manufacturers, service suppliers and
    marketers in producing and conveying it.
    This is achieved through employment of an ‘interpretive semiology’ research
    philosophy, in which a number of pioneering semiotic and narrative techniques are
    used and developed, to identify the key communication codes and myths that drive the
    construction and movement of meaning within, and relative to this consumption
    subculture.
    An ‘outside in’ approach is employed to understand the subculture from a wide crosssection
    of related discourse, and this is combined with an ‘inside-out’ approach,
    which focuses on the motorcyclist consumer psyche, on consumer involvement in
    motorcycling activity and use of signifying props, spaces and stories for the
    construction and signification of meaningful motorcyclist self-identity. Also this
    approach examines the role of manufacturers, service suppliers and marketers in
    constructing and signifying brands that purvey cultural messages and construct
    categories of motorcycling subculture.
    The results highlight that although UK motorcycling adventure subculture is
    enshrined with a very rich cultural heritage, it is dynamic in nature, and cultural
    changes can be identified by analysis of key cultural communication codes and myths.
    These codes and myths are influenced, and driven, by an interrelationship that exists
    between consumers, manufacturers, service suppliers, marketers and wider popular
    cultural discourse and media. They all exist in the same culturally constituted world
    and meaning is generated and signified through common market places and market
    stimuli.
    Overall, this study provides a contribution to adventure-leisure and interpretive,
    cultural consumer behaviour research and it employs and develops pioneering
    semiotic and narrative methodologies. It demonstrates how the field of semiotics,
    with rich theoretical and sometimes complicated underpinnings, can be applied in this
    context to achieve significant theoretical and practical implications.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
    Schools: The Business School
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2008 09:21
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:26
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/2062

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