"Authenticity in the era of mechanical reproduction": A sociological explanation of virtual branding process of modern handicrafts in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran



In the era of global markets, what "authenticity" means? This is a question that has occupied the minds of some contemporary economic sociologists. Mechanical reproductions have intensified the crisis of authenticity of cultural products. In fact, digital media and social networks marketing have resulted in the emergence of virtual branding and restoring the sense of authenticity. In this new market place, the challenge of creating a reputation or the issue of branding still remain to address. In line with the global trend of virtual branding, in Iran, creators use the concept of brand to describe their business in the field of handicrafts. The question that arises here is why these creators name their business "brand"? The representative of the brand does not match. From this point of view, the many meanings that activists attribute to their actions and the mutual influence of their understanding of their actions are important, so the present article addressing the process of virtual branding based on an exploratory/qualitative study. Using a virtual ethnographic method the author attempts to understand the process of virtual branding realized in the field of modern Iranian handicrafts, its experimental characteristics, and its connection to the concept of authenticity.


Main Subjects

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