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Journal of Linguistic Anthropology

Signs of Respect: Neighborhood, Public, and Language in Barcelona

Authors

  • Susan E. Frekko

    Corresponding author
    1. GOUCHER COLLEGE
      Department of Sociology & Anthropology
      Goucher College
      1021 Dulaney Valley Rd.
      Baltimore, MD 21204
      susan.frekko@goucher.edu
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Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Goucher College
1021 Dulaney Valley Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21204
susan.frekko@goucher.edu

Abstract

This article focuses on a protest banner campaign by a neighborhood association in an economically marginal neighborhood of Barcelona. Through the campaign, participants simultaneously coached neighborhood-level addressees (including immigrants) in respectable behavior and projected an image of neighborhood respectability to the media and City Hall. Linguistic behaviors were central to this process, including code choice, linguistic normativity, and intertextuality. This article makes three theoretical points. First, while the literature on publics stresses a historical shift between embodied publicness and disembodied publicness, this article shows that embodied publicness and disembodied publicness are inextricably interrelated. Second, it demonstrates that neighborhoods are key sites for the articulation of these two forms of publicness, through the regimentation and projection of personal respectability. Third, it reveals the importance of a careful ethnography of writing, which allows the disambiguation of differently scaled sets of addressees. [neighborhoods, publics, respectability, immigration, Catalan]

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