Lamppost networks *: Stickers as a genre in urban semiotic landscapes

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This paper examines the pragmatics of stickers as a genre prominent
in communication in urban public space. Although normally small in
size, stickers may quantitatively dominate signage in certain areas of
cities. Stickers are examined here as localized communicative events
that mediatize social practices through a range of complex
multimodal and linguistic processes, based on data from the
Digbeth area in central Birmingham, UK. An analysis of the
distribution of stickers, their agency, audience, and the multimodal
practices involved in their creation reveals that they bring together
transgressive, artistic and commercial discourses and form a
specific layer of urban communication, especially in areas of
pedestrian transit within a city. A large number of stickers also
initiate communications that can potentially be continued online
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-644
Number of pages23
JournalSocial semiotics
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Social Semiotics on 27 Jul 2018, available online at:


  • Urban semiotic landscapes
  • stickers
  • multimodality
  • Birmingham (UK)
  • pragmatics


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