BreMM19 | Rytter Dakwar

Julia Rytter Dakwar
University of Southern Denmark | Odense, Denmark

Reflections on the multimodal analytical interplay in the case of online and offline grocery shopping

In my paper, I will examine and reflect on (i) the spatiality and use of space in online and offline grocery shopping, as well as (ii) the possibilities and challenges in combining multimodal approaches. I shall present parts of my analysis, exemplifying how analyses might be conducted with an anchoring in multimodal approaches. Specifically, I will present an example of a multimodal social semiotic analysis of the spatiality in the online and offline supermarkets. (Ravelli 2000) Furthermore, I will present an example of a multimodal ethnomethodological and conversation analytical analysis of the orientation of the shoppers and their use of the space in the online and offline supermarkets. (Mondada 2016)

My empirical material consists of videos and eye-tracking recordings of shopping episodes in online and offline supermarkets, as well as photos and screenshots of the online and offline supermarkets. Thereby, the empirical material represents a complex collection of recordings of artefacts, handling of artefacts and interactions. Even though the project applies a theoretically and methodologically multimodal anchoring within the two disciplines; multimodal social semiotics (e.g. Kress 2010) and multimodal ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA) (e.g. Garfinkel 1967), the investigation of the data must be explorative when creating an analytical interplay between different multimodal disciplines in studying the data.

Departing from the complex collection of multimodal empirical material, I work through a dialogue between the disciplines in analyzing the spatiality of the online and offline supermarkets and the social interactions in a comparative perspective. (Jewitt & Leder Mackley 2018) Thus, focusing on the represented spatiality in the design and the interface of the online and offline supermarkets and the interactions, orientations and handling of the available resources in the different settings and environments in the specific shopping episodes. In the dialogue, I will reflect on the possibilities and the challenges in working interdisciplinary within multimodality.


Garfinkel, Harold (1967). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Jewitt, Carey & Leder Mackley, K. (2018). Methodological dialogues across multimodality and sensory ethnography: digital touch communication. Qualitative Research. (In Press)

Kress, Gunther (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

Mondada, Lorenza (2016). ‘Multimodal resources and the organization of social interaction’. In: Rocci, Andrea & Saussure, Louis de (red.). Verbal Communication. Pp. 329-350.

Ravelli, Louise (2000). Beyond Shopping: Constructing the Sydney Olympics in three-dimensional text. Text – Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse. 20 (4) pp. 489-515.


Julia has been a ph.d.-fellow since February 2018. Her project is a part of a Velux funded project on the resemiotisation of buying and selling interaction examining what happens when the practice of shopping is increasingly digitalized (‘RESEMINA’).

  • © 2020 University of Bremen || Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Science