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Sexed signs - Queering the scenery

Journal article
Authors Tommaso M. Milani
Published in International Journal of the Sociology of Language
Pages 201-225
ISSN 01652516
Publication year 2014
Published at
Pages 201-225
Language en
Keywords gender, linguistic landscapes, place, queer theory, sexuality, space
Subject categories Gender Studies, Human Geography, Communication Studies, Languages and Literature


The main argument of this article is that Linguistic Landscape (LL) scholarship has largely ignored - erased even - gender and sexuality, two important axes of power along which public spaces are structured, understood, negotiated and contested. In order to partly redress this academic oversight, this article investigates a small data set of banal sexed signs, mundane semiotic aggregates, which, precisely because of their fleeting and unassuming character, can easily be ignored, but nonetheless "(in)form our understandings and experiences of [gender,] sexuality and subjectivity" (Sullivan 2003: 190). In doing so, the article also argues for the importance of incorporating queer theory into the analytical apparatus of Linguistic Landscape research, because it provides us with a valuable theoretical lens through which to unveil the operations of power in relation to gender and sexuality (and other social categories) in public space. © 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston 2014.

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