1st Edition

Multimodality and Social Interaction in Online and Offline Shopping

Edited By Gitte Rasmussen, Theo van Leeuwen Copyright 2024
    238 Pages 172 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection brings together social semiotic, ethnographic, and conversation analytic approaches to multimodality in global studies of shopping, drawing on the rich diversity of the latest multimodal methods to critically reflect on shopping as a cornerstone of contemporary social life.

    The volume explores shopping as an area of study in its own right, with the buying and selling of goods and services a fundamental part of the social and cultural life of human communities for centuries. The book looks at both online and offline shopping, examining it as both everyday multi-sensorial practice and its translation into the interactive text and imagery that comprise the online shopping experience, from London street markets to Japanese grocery shops to Danish supermarkets to worldwide online shopping sites. Highlighting the diversity of modern multimodal approaches through contributions from established scholars, the book critically surveys both the challenges and opportunities in the embodied interactions between buyers and sellers and how these points of connection have been translated and will continue to transform in the age of algorithms and emergent technologies.

    This book will appeal to students and scholars interested in multimodality, multimodal conversation analysis, social semiotics, social interaction, and retail studies.

    List of Contributors

    1. Introduction

    Gitte Rasmussen and Theo Van Leeuwen

    2. Exploring the phenomenology of shopping as social practice: An inquiry into the multimodal and linguistic repertoires in markets in Sydney

    Dariush Izadi

    3. Between sensorial pleasure and economic reason: accepting or rejecting offers to taste at the market

    Lorenza Mondada

    4. Reassembling meaning while shopping

    Emi Otsuji and Alastair Pennycook

    5. Multimodal engagement and interaction and the appearance of contemporary non-traditional retail shopping

    Gitte Rasmussen

    6. Trust, transparency and transactions – revealing participation in collocated and hybrid auction sales

    Sylvaine Tuncer, Christian Heath and Paul Luff

    7. Checking before checkout: how customers deal with trust and accountability in grocery shopping in online and brick-and-mortar shops

    Elisabeth Dalby Kristiansen

    8. Curating a lifestyle experience – how Pottery Barn makes it so.

    Louise Ravelli

    9. Going shopping – a social semiotic study of resources for walking offline and online

    Søren Vigild Poulsen

    10. Community or commerce – the story of eBay

    Theo Van Leeuwen



    Gitte Rasmussen is Professor of Social Interaction at the University of Southern Denmark.

    Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark and Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia.