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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 21, 2019

The Organised Self and Lifestyle Minimalism: Multimodal Deixis and Point of View in Decluttering Vlogs on YouTube

Michele Zappavigna ORCID logo
From the journal Multimodal Communication


This paper explores how people present their relationship to their domestic objects in decluttering vlogs on YouTube, where they show the process of getting rid of undesired items. These videos are associated with discourses of ‘minimalism’ that are currently prevalent on social media platforms. The paper adopts a multimodal social semiotic approach, focusing on how language, gesture, and the visual frame coordinate intermodally to make meanings about objects. The multimodal construction of deixis in coordination with a type of ‘point-of-view shot’, filmed from the visual perspective of the vlogger, is examined. The broader aim is to investigate what these videos reveal about how digital semiotic capitalism is inflecting the lived experience of social media users. What is at stake is how people articulate intersubjective meanings about their experiences and relationships through the way they communicate about their objects.


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Published Online: 2019-05-21

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