Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 10, 2018

A Semiotic Interpretation of Online Selfie Culture

Yin Liu
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

The awakening or crisis of individual self-consciousness has been frequently included in the study of online selfie culture, while the reinforcement of public self-consciousness, the strengthening of civil confidence, and even the resurgence of national confidence can be detected from its popularity when studied with the application of Lotman’s cultural semiotics, especially the unique dialogic mechanism as well as Lotman’s viewpoint on the space–time structure of the semiosphere. With dialogue situation created and meaning generated, textual dialogues help the construction of self-consciousness through the “I–I” and “I–s/he” system; cultural dialogues make it ultimately welcomed by mainstream culture, which embodies the enhancement of mass self-consciousness. In the semiosphere, selfies reconstruct our self-consciousness in the time–space structure of cultures. The shift of self-consciousness from low-profile to high-profile represents the booming confidence of the Chinese. As a work of art is a finite model of an infinite universe, a “picture of the world,” selfies are also the pictures of growing national confidence.

Appendix

Examples of Mobile Netease National Day selfie campaign

Photos source: Oriental IC (东方IC), a Chinese diversified visual resources provider and picture technology service provider founded in 2000. www.dfic.cn

Figure 1 On 30 September 2017, a young couple taking selfies in Badachu Park in Beijing.

Figure 1

On 30 September 2017, a young couple taking selfies in Badachu Park in Beijing.

Figure 2 On 1 October 2017, tens of thousands of visitors from across the country watched the National Day flag-raising ceremony in Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.

Figure 2

On 1 October 2017, tens of thousands of visitors from across the country watched the National Day flag-raising ceremony in Tian’anmen Square in Beijing.

Figure 3 On 1 October 2017, over 2,000 citizens flocked to Tianfu Square in Chengdu to watch the National Day flag-raising ceremony.

Figure 3

On 1 October 2017, over 2,000 citizens flocked to Tianfu Square in Chengdu to watch the National Day flag-raising ceremony.

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Published Online: 2018-11-10
Published in Print: 2018-11-27

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston