BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Activism signage, emplacement, and sense of public space: a mixed methods study of the linguistic landscape of Bloomsbury

    El-Farhan, Maha Hamad (2020) Activism signage, emplacement, and sense of public space: a mixed methods study of the linguistic landscape of Bloomsbury. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    Studies on activism signage, meaning-making, and the sense of space, span several research areas, including linguistic landscapes, activism, transgressive semiotics, and urbanism. Activism signs are often discussed within studies on flyposting, and are associated, simultaneously, with negative effects on space, and, conversely, as positive manifestations of healthy activism in communities, and the rightful access to shared public space. The literature review revealed several research gaps, including the effect of activism signage on the sense of space, especially safety, regulation, and conviviality. Additionally, little is known on how meanings in these signs are affected by their placement context, the relative transgression of these signs on urban space, and how meanings change with their readers. The interaction between the visual and linguistic components of the signs, and their placement, on meanings, and the sense of space, forms the basis of this research. A mixed-method approach was adopted to address the main research questions. Hundreds of activism signs were analysed, revealing linguistic, visual, and placement trends. The presence of these signs in the area suggested a reduced sense of safety, conviviality, and regulation. These findings were used as a basis for the photo-elicitation questionnaire, which elicited opinions regarding the effect of the main sign components, on meanings, and the sense of space. This study provides strong evidence that activism signs emplacement in urban space has a marked effect on meanings, space regulation, and the sense of safety and conviviality. Meanings in the signs are co-constructed between sign authors and readers. The effective communication of the activism messages is considerably compromised by sign components and placement. The results highlight a dilemma between successful communication of activism messages, and the adverse effects on space. This study presents contributions in the fields of LL research, activism studies, as well urban studies, and the sense of space.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 16:19
    Last Modified: 06 Dec 2021 16:19


    Activity Overview

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item