home page

This article has been subjected to double blind peer review

author: Giampaolo Proni (Dipartimento di Scienze per la Qualità della Vita, Università di Bologna (IT))

Chiome a confronto. Analisi semiotica delle acconciature di Donald Trump e Kim Jong-un

language: italian

publication date: October 2019

abstract: In the relationship between two political leaders such as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, both the hairstyles strike attention for their originality. In this article I have tried to perform a semiotic analysis of the two hairdos, considered as texts constructed and enunciated as elements of self-presentation in public. In the case of the North Korean leader, I highlighted the fact that the reading of his image entails problems of trans-culturality. The hairstyle is an element of the dress, according to the definition of Barthes and the sociology of clothing. In my analysis I adopted the concepts of interpretive semiotics in the following steps: expressive level; paradigmatic dimension; interpretant level in the three phases of Peirce’s theory. I have adopted an approach to dress as a predominantly phatic discourse according to the positions of Malinowski/Jakobson/Goffman. I propose the theory of exposed deception to explain the agreements of mutual recognition of masking such as hair dye and make-up in general. Trump's hairstyle is explained as the adoption of an idiolect of self-presentation, while Kim's is a case of dynastic language. He is interpreted in very different ways in North Korea and the West. Trump's hair suggests a kind of 'autism in self-presentation', while in Kim's case the separation extends to his culture as a whole. In conclusion, the combined consequences of these characteristics of the two personalities lead to the hypothesis that the dialogue they have undertaken may remain less a true substantial confrontation than a mere display of contact.

keywords: fashion, donald trump, acconciatura, pettinatura, semiotica, sociosemiotica, analisi semiotica, haircut, hairdo, semiotics, sociosemiotics, semiotic analysis

OCULA-FluxSaggi-PRONI-Chiome-a-confronto.pdf ➞ PDF [793Kb]

DOI: 10.12977/ocula2019-14

citation information: Giampaolo Proni, Chiome a confronto. Analisi semiotica delle acconciature di Donald Trump e Kim Jong-un, "Ocula", vol.20, October 2019. DOI: 10.12977/ocula2019-14



Ocula.it publishes articles and essays in semiotic research, with a particular eye on communication and culture; it is open to dialogue with other research fields and welcomes contributions from all the areas of the social and human sciences.

Editorial Committee

Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Design)
Anne Beyaert-Geslin (Université Bordeaux- Montaigne, France)
Giovanni Boccia Artieri (Libera Università di Urbino Carlo Bo)
Vanni Codeluppi (Università Iulm, Milano)
Marcel Danesi (University of Toronto, Canada) president from 2014
Bernard Darras (Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France)
Alessandro Duranti (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
Ruggero Eugeni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore , Milano)
Guido Ferraro (Università di Torino)
Roberto Grandi (Università di Bologna)
Gianfranco Marrone (Università di Palermo)
Pino Paioni (1920-2013) (Università di Urbino) president from 2009 to 2013
Guglielmo Pescatore (Università di Bologna)
Susan Petrilli (Università di Bari)
Isabella Pezzini (Università La Sapienza di Roma)
Maria Pia Pozzato (Università di Bologna)
Andrea Semprini (Université de Lille, France; Iulm, Milano)
Junji Tsuchiya (Waseda University, Tokio, Japan)
Alessandro Zinna (Université de Toulouse 2, France)

Editorial Board

Coordinator (Editor in Chief): Cinzia Bianchi (cinzia.bianchi@unimore.it) from 2017 to 2019

Andrea Bernardelli (andrea.bernardelli@unife.it)
Cinzia Bianchi (cinzia.bianchi@unimore.it)
Michela Deni (michela.deni@gmail.com)
Nicola Dusi (nicolamaria.dusi@unimore.it)
Francesco Galofaro (galofaro_francesco@hotmail.com)
Davide Gasperi (davide@davidegasperi.it)
Valentina Manchia (valentina.manchia@gmail.com)
Antonella Mascio (antonella.mascio@unibo.it)
Federico Montanari (federico.mont@gmail.com)
Valentina Pisanty (valentina.pisanty@unibg.it)
Giampaolo Proni (giampaolo.proni@unibo.it)
Ruggero Ragonese (ruggero.ragonese@unimore.it)
Stefano Traini (straini@unite.it)
Salvatore Zingale (salvatore.zingale@polimi.it)

You can support our initiative by donating in a safe way using PayPal or your credit card

ISSN 1724-7810   |   DOI: 10.12977/ocula

Ocula adheres to the principles of Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)

Ocula is indexed by Directory Open Access Journal (DOAJ) and Google Scholar

The content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) 

  |  Privacy  |  Ocula.it is published by Associazione Ocula, via Berti 2, 40131 - Bologna