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Communicating the City

Meanings, Practices, Interactions


Edited By Giorgia Aiello, Matteo Tarantino and Kate Oakley

How human meanings, practices and interactions produce and are produced by urban space is the focus of this timely and exciting addition to the study of urban communication.

Challenging notions of the ‘urban’ as physically, economically or technologically determined, this book explores key intersections of discourse, materiality, technology, mobility, identity and inequality in acts of communication across urban and urbanizing contexts. From leisure and media consumption among Chinese migrant workers in a Guangdong village to the diverse networks and communication infrastructures of global cities like London and Los Angeles, this collection combines a range of perspectives to ask fundamental questions about the significance and status of cities in times of intensified mediation and connectivity.

With case studies from Italy, Britain, Ireland, Russia, the United States and China, this international collection demonstrates that both empirical and critical knowledge on the relationship between communication and urban life has become vital across the humanities and social sciences.

Communicating the City will be essential reading for all scholars and students who desire to gain an in-depth understanding of the multiple roles that media and communication have in lived experiences of the city.

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Chapter Twelve: Community through multiple connectivities: Mapping communication assets in multicultural London (Wallis Motta / Myria Georgiou)


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Community through multiple connectivities

Mapping communication assets in multicultural London



London is a super-diverse (Vertovec, 2006, 2010) city of intense juxtapositions of difference, constantly presenting urban dwellers with the challenges of cultural diversity: communication, cohabitation, and community building. This chapter focuses precisely on these issues and urban dwellers’ efforts to build communities with, next, and against others in a super-diverse London neighbourhood (Georgiou, Motta, & Livingstone, 2016). We adopt an urban communication perspective (Aiello & Tosoni, 2016; Georgiou, 2013), focusing on the sociocultural processes of information exchange and community building occurring at the intersection of (and supported by) various communication assets. We argue for the need to understand the role of communication in advancing neighbourhood participation, placemaking, and thus a sense of belonging in multicultural urban locales. In particular we examine the significance of communication assets: resources summoned, mobilized, and appropriated by locals in developing networks of communication, information, and exchange; in both mediated and nonmediated urban settings. Communication assets have attracted little attention in literature on urban communities and placemaking (see, for example discussions in Amin, 2008; Appadurai, 1996; Massey, 1994, 2005). However, we argue, they constitute core resources for enhancing participation and belonging. Thus, we need conceptual, methodological, and analytical tools to make sense of their role and significance in the city. ← 183 | 184 →

The chapter has a twofold aim. First, developing a...

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