n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - On seduction (and flirting) in the twenty-first century : a communication-theoretical perspective

Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167
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An attempt is made here to provide an analysis, in communicational terms, of the phenomena of seduction and (related to it) flirting as it comes across in the present era. This entails answering the question, whether these two related activities are still the same, historically speaking, as they were in earlier epochs - for example in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Are there indications that they display an inalienable, characteristic structure, which still undergirds them today, regardless of the extent to which the postmodern era may differ from preceding ones? And what might such a structure look like in each case? Focusing on Kierkegaard's anatomy of seduction in , a reconstruction of its salient features is attempted before turning to Zupancic's pertinent distinction between two types of seduction, and before examining Baudrillard's provocative description of seduction in relation to the feminine principle in contemporary culture. What are the implications of these for flirting as a related activity? And are there indications that the present era modulates these communicational practices in a new or distinctive manner?

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