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Unfolding the Semiotic Web in Urban Discourse

In Scientific Cooperation with Daina Teters

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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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Zdzis.aw Wąsik: Towards an idea of urbanity as a discursive way of human life in the city – developing a conceptual framework 47

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Zdzisław Wąsik PHILOLOGICAL SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN WROCŁAW ANGELUS SILESIUS STATE SCHOOL OF HIGHER VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN WAŁBRZYCH ADAM MICKIEWICZ UNIVERSITY IN POZNAŃ & KARKONOSZE STATE SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN JELENIA GÓRA Towards an idea of urbanity as a discursive way of human life in the city – developing a conceptual framework The subject matter of this chapter constitutes a search for the discur- sive properties of the city considered as a communicational-semiotic ob- ject of study. Its aim is to specify and elaborate a conceptual and meth- odological framework within which the nature of urbanity as a way of human life in the city may be exposed in more detailed descriptive works. One of such frameworks, which may be applied to the study of urban- ity, departs from discursivism viewed as an epistemological position of scientists who analyze their investigative object from a discourse- oriented perspective. It is assumed that the epistemological analysis of a given object of a scientific discipline consists in the examination of its ontological status and gnoseological approachability. 1. The city as an investigative object in the domain of urban studies 1.1. The object and the subject matter of investigation Important for the investigative domain of epistemology is the distinc- tion between obiectum reale and obiectum formale understood as the opposition between: all aspects of an object to be studied existing inde- pendently of subjective cognition and the cognitive model of the subject matter of a study distinguished by a...

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