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Intercultural Crisis Communication on Social Media: A Case from Fashion

Abstract

The paper aims to address the issue of social media communication crises due to intercultural communication misunderstandings, presenting a relevant case study that involved the fashion industry. The case of Donata Meirelles, Vogue Brazil former director, who resigned after being accused over a “slavery party,” has been analyzed. The woman had in fact, to resign from her work after posting on Instagram photos of her 50th birthday party, sitting on an ornate throne surrounded by Afro-Brazilian women wearing white dresses. Criticism arose from many social media and Internet users, who interpreted the birthday party’s choices as a racist allusion to the colonial era, when Brazil heavily relied on slave labor, originating a debate, which led to an unexpected crisis. Through an in-depth analysis of the relevant posts on Instagram, the present study seeks to understand this type of intercultural communication crises by considering the importance of cultural localization, when it comes to communicate to different audiences also on digital platforms. A mixed research methodology, which includes the application of the attribution theory model to the results of a content analysis on Instagram (IG) and an analysis of the position of the Afro-Brazilian workers involved in the debate, has been chosen to perform the study.

Keywords

  • Crisis communication
  • Digital fashion
  • Fashion communication
  • Intercultural communication
  • Localization
  • Social media

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Correspondence to Alice Noris .

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Noris, A., Cantoni, L. (2021). Intercultural Crisis Communication on Social Media: A Case from Fashion. In: Sádaba, T., Kalbaska, N., Cominelli, F., Cantoni, L., Torregrosa Puig, M. (eds) Fashion Communication. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81321-5_19

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