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Bungle in the jungle: H&Ms kriskommunikation under tröjskandalen i januari 2018
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Bungle in the jungle : H&Ms crisis communication during the shirt scandal in january 2018 (English)
Abstract [en]

In early January 2018, the clothing company H&M released a new collection for children. One of the sweaters in the collection was printed with the text "Coolest monkey in the jungle". The shirt was worn by a dark-skinned child and H&M was accused of racism. This is because the word "monkey" has historically been used as a racist slur to downgrade dark-skinned people. Throughout the scandal H&M has published an official press release, as well as a number of posts on social media, each of which affects the scandal. The purpose of the study is to analyze H&Ms crisis communication with regard to the strategies they used during the shirt scandal. The main question of the study is how did H&M's crisis communication express itself in text during the shirt scandal. The theories used in the study are William Benoit's image repair theory (2014) and Timothy Coombs Situational crisis communication theory (2007), abbreviated SCCT. The methods used are a qualitative content analysis, text analysis and a rhetorical analysis. The qualitative content analysis is based on the chosen theories, so that the survey can extract the underlying message that H&M wants to convey. While the text analysis processes the text itself and how the company wants the reader to perceive the message and how H&M’s texts interact with each other. The rhetorical analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of the text's underlying message and structure with the actual text as a starting point. The rhetorical analysis is done by analysing the text’s structure with the rhetoric disposition scheme as a starting point.

H&M’s crisis communication is in this case related to what is proposed in the strategic theories of crisis communication. The main crisis communication strategies used by H&M were admitting responsibility, asking for forgiveness and corrective actions. The rhetoric analysis has shown that the press release and posts on social media have different functions. The press release make greater importance to the structure of the disposition scheme, while the social media posts rather contain certain parts, for example, a greater focus on pathos and the preparatory of counter arguments while communicating to individuals rather than the public.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 42
Keywords [en]
communication, hm, h&m, crisis, crisis communication, image repair theory, situational crisis communication theory
Keywords [sv]
kommunikation, hm, h&m, kris, kriskommunikation, image repair-teori, SCCT
National Category
Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146608OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146608DiVA, id: diva2:1197396
Educational program
Programme in Media and Communication Studies: Strategic Communication
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-04-17 Created: 2018-04-12 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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