Ideology in the linguistic landscape: Towards a quantitative approach

Małgorzata Fabiszak*, Isabelle Buchstaller, Anna Weronika Brzezińska, Seraphim Alvanides, Frauke Griese, Carolin Schneider

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Past approaches to ideological commemorative street naming have taken for granted the concept of ideology, focusing on the policy decisions and the debates surrounding individual and more concerted resemioticisations. In this paper, we demonstrate that the concept of ideology in the context of commemorative street renaming is by no means unequivocal by illustrating how different decisions on what is or is not an ideological street name change influences the shape and the scope of ‘the ideological robe of the city’ (Zieliński, 1994). More specifically, we report on methodological decisions and their implications for representational politics in two towns, Zbąszyń in Poland and Annaberg-Buchholz in Germany, during consecutive waves of regime changes since the First World War. We rely on a complex data-set consisting of maps, town hall documents, street directories, newspapers and interviews with administrative officials. Visualisation of geographical patterns allows us to illustrate the outcomes of different definitions of ideology and explore how these definitions affect our analysis. Our primary aim is to arrive at systematic, and thus supra-locally operationalizable, analytical procedure for distinguishing ideological from non-ideological street naming practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-425
Number of pages21
JournalDiscourse & Society
Volume32
Issue number4
Early online date12 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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