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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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Camelia Cmeciu, Doina Cmeciu: New insights into corporate social responsibility: The semiotic act of experiencing a city through street naming 163

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Camelia Cmeciu “DANUBIUS” UNIVERSITY OF GALAŢI Doina Cmeciu “VASILE ALECSANDRI” UNIVERSITY OF BACĂU New insights into corporate social responsibility: The semiotic act of experiencing a city through street naming 1. Cities – embodiments of organizational discourses After 5,500 years since their first appearance, cities, as Kingsley Davis (2002 /1996/ [1965]: 4) has stated, represent civilization (cf. LeGates & Stout 2002 /1996/: 17). It is in the cities where the evolution of hu- mankind could indeed be traced, which has been marked, according to V. Gordon Childe (2002 /1996/ [1950]: 22), by a threefold revolution of an agricultural, urban and industrial character. This revolution has brought about a change from simple tribal communities and village-based agricul- tural production to the complex postmodern social, economic and politi- cal system. As pointed out in Patrick Dunleavy’s1 approaches in the study of cities, Ronan Paddison (2001: 5–6) observes a matching between the dynamic nature of cities and the paradigmatic interdisciplinary shift from the following perspectives: – The spatial and/or economic perspective focuses on locational analy- ses (effects of distance from urban market places to agricultural land use, new urban economies) and spatial networks (spatial distribution of systems of cities, ranking, and development); 1 Dunleavy, Patrick 1980: Urban Political Analysis: The Politics of Collective Con- sumption. London: Macmillan Press (editor’s note). Camelia Cmeciu, Doina Cmeciu 164 – The sociological perspective focuses on socio-cultural analyses (na- ture and meaning of urban life, mental adaptations to city life and social behavior), community and urban power studies (neo-Marxist...

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