Cities as Communicative Change Agents
Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler
6. The “Tweeting” Discourse of Balconies and Porches in the City: Identity Politics, Public Speaking, and Social Change: CAROLIN ARONIS, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO-BOULDER, U.S.
6. The “Tweeting” Discourse of Balconies and Porches in the City: Identity Politics, Public Speaking, and Social Change
This chapter explores the political discourse or “tweets” of urban balconies and porches in American and Israeli cities. Focusing on the use of these architectural features for communication and the expression of identity and stance in the urban public sphere, I examine the practice and rhetoric of hanging political banners and slogans on them. Based on a variety of methodological approaches that consider aspects of media, discourse, and spatial architectural practices, this chapter brings four analytical aspects to the study of balconies and porches: (1) as technologies of display, (2) as both extensions and representations of residents’ personalities, (3) as venues for political stance, and (4) as positioned against one another, maintaining interaction and “dialogue.” Contextualized within both the concept of “liminality” and the history of porches and balconies as political venues, I call for the reconsideration of these architectural features as important agencies for identity politics, opposing ideologies, and daily activism toward social change.
Keywords: liminality, architecture, balconies, porches, inner city, identity politics, public speaking, social change, discourse, political talk, flags, banners
Urban balconies and porches provide important platforms for public discourse and social change. They encourage residents to maintain a political discourse through the common practice of hanging political banners and slogans and flying political flags on them. These artifacts include banners...
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