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Unfolding the Semiotic Web in Urban Discourse

In Scientific Cooperation with Daina Teters


Edited By Zdzislaw Wasik

The main focus of this volume is on urbanity as a discursive way of human life in the city. Discourse is specified here in terms of semiotic codes and processes that link city dwellers as communicating selves into interpersonal and intersubjective collectivities when they create and interpret similar meanings embodied in material bearers. Accordingly, the unfolding of the semiotic web is understood, firstly, as detecting and evaluating the growth and manifestation of the sphere of meaning-bearers or a sequence of meaning-bearing events, and secondly, as identifying and explaining the constituents and aspects of discourse in the light of signs and/or sign-processes that aggregate individual participants of communication into discursive linkages on a lower level and discursive communities – on a higher level of social grouping. Some contributions deal with the discursive properties of human individuals in urban environments, and some others are devoted either to the meta-discourses on the city or discourses in the city.


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Richard L. Lanigan: On homeworld and community models of the city: The communicology of egocentric and sociocentric cultures in urban semiotics 11


Richard L. Lanigan INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICOLOGY INSTITUTE, WASHINGTON, DC On homeworld and community models of the city: The communicology of egocentric and sociocentric cultures in urban semiotics1 1. The city as embodiment City is a name that constitutes both a consciousness and experience for me, as it does for every person. I first became conscious of the notion of a city when, at age nine, I declared my ability, as Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914, U.S. philosopher, mathematician, and physicist) would say – my capacity, to take a public transit bus by myself into the downtown section of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, then as now, part of the United States of America since statehood in 1912. My father, Richard Sr., was the first baby born in the new State which has forever officially tied my family with that sense of local place called home. With an assumed adult consciousness, I was confident that my child’s body could take care of itself without parental supervision. The consciousness of that unknown alien reality of getting on the bus, which became the experience of a known actuality of riding the bus, forever transformed by sense of lived embodiment. At the time, I did not realize that I was a living embodiment of one of the major model for defining a city, namely the Kinetic-Chronemic Field Model in which a city and it domain are measured by how far a person 1 The present paper is a substantially expanded, revised, and updated version of...

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