Animal Studies Bibliography

Morgado, Marcia A. 1993. Animal trademark emblems on fashion apparel: A semiotic interpretation. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 11(2): 16-20.

The considerable presence of animals in every aspect of popular culture suggests that animals are an important way that we express our culture. The use of animal trademarks as emblems on clothing can be interpreted using semiotic theory to see what aspects of American culture it expresses. The meaning of signs may vary according to context, interpreter, and time. There are three different kinds of signs. An icon is a sign that closely resembles the object it represents, like a photograph or a map. An index is a sign linked to the object not physically but rather by the subject's ability to link the sign to appropriate concepts. Indexes point to (18) the object, as in a weather vane as index of the weather or symptoms as index of illness. Third, a symbol is connected to its object by convention, like a flag representing a country, and since the connection is merely conventional, it must be learned. Signs may combine these elements. Animal trademark emblems are one case of this combination. Animal trademark emblems (e.g. Izod's alligator or Ralph Lauren's polo pony) appear not only on clothing but also stores and advertisements and labels inside the clothing. This analysis is restricted to their appearance on polo t-shirts. The color of the emblem did not seem to matter to its interpretation, and any shade that sufficiently contrasted with the shirt color would do.



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