This book offers an innovative approach to analysing written texts, grounded in principles of semiotics.
Envisaging whole news media representations as `signs', and using the real-world example of the BP Deepwater Horizon crisis, the author demonstrates how business crises are constructed through language.
Gravells identifies patterns of language which show a progression from one kind of `current news' representation to a different kind of coverage. This coverage positions the crisis as having symbolic and conventional meaning within varied social contexts, including the arts, business and the environment.
Using a wealth of examples from the BP story to illustrate her practical research approach, Gravells draws `language maps' of different phases of the crisis representation, showing how an early `iconic' phase of representation moves through an `indexical' to a `symbolic' phase, and projects a return to a `naturalised icon'. This book will be of interest to researchers and students of semiotics, those exploring research methods and linguists with an interest in business and media communications.