Fashion as Communication: A Semiotic Analysis on Dagadu’s T-shirts as a Counter-hegemony toward Americanization


This paper elaborates how Dagadu as one of creative design producers in Indonesia employs a counter-hegemonic movement toward American culture that dominates Indonesians’ everyday life by parodying global symbols from America on its t-shirts. Gramsci distinguishes between coercive control which is manifest through direct force or the threat of force, and consensual control which arises when individuals ‘willingly’ or ‘voluntary’ assimilate the world-view or hegemony of the dominant group; an assimilation which allows the group to be hegemonic (in Strinati, 2004). Meanwhile, counter-hegemony arises when individuals use the same practices of hegemonic domination to challenge that domination (Gramsci in West and Turner, 2007). Using hegemony and counter-hegemony theory of Antonio Gramsci as the theoretical framework; Americanization of F. Williams as the conceptual framework; and semiotic as the analysis tool, this paper shows that in Indonesia, a counter to hegemony movement rises from locality awareness instead of political neither economical aspects. Dagadu resists Americanization with “Jogjanization” (derived from the word “Jogja”; a city in Indonesia where Dagadu was born and grows its business) which is employed in a non-radical, non-sarcastic and also in a non-serious way. As the representation of the youth with their rebellion and unique characters, Dagadu is a fashion that posits itself as a communicator that encodes locality in globalization. In this context, Dagadu proposes nationalism and capitalism altogether.

Author Information
Irsanti Widuri Asih, Universitas Terbuka, Inonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2013
Stream: Social Sciences

This paper is part of the ACSS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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