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The Extreme Gone MainstreamCommercialization and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany$
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Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196152

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196152.001.0001

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Branding Identity

Branding Identity

Coded Symbols and Game Playing

(p.51) 2 Branding Identity
The Extreme Gone Mainstream

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the ways in which symbolic codes are manipulated and deployed in the iconography and text of clothing products. It focuses in particular on the use of codes that draw on alphanumeric combinations or on historical references. Such codes are seen not only on T-shirts and other clothing products but also on tattoos, license plates, accessories, and even giant Styrofoam letters in football stadium stands. Some alphanumeric and historical codes are co-opted from other popular youth cultural scenes and then stripped of their original cultural referents. The chapter traces the game-playing aspect of the codes, by showing how young people (and commercial companies) adapt the codes and their display in order to navigate bans of particular symbols and brands. Drawing on interview data with young Germans in and around the far right scene, it also looks both at whether and how youth understand and interpret embedded far right codes, and at how they consume the clothing and products more generally.

Keywords:   symbolic codes, coded symbols, game playing, clothing products, historical codes, cultural referents, far right codes

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