Riding and reading the Shanghai metro: signs, subjectivities and subversions on and around line # 8

Journal article


Cockain, A. 2018. Riding and reading the Shanghai metro: signs, subjectivities and subversions on and around line # 8. Social Semiotics. 28 (4), pp. 533-554. https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2017.1366392
AuthorsCockain, A.
Abstract

This article explores the diverse semiotic landscapes which may be experienced as a consequence of apparently mundane rides taken upon the Shanghai metro. I first present, and then untangle, the ideological discourses that form, clash and, at times, collapse during these journeys. In order to elaborate upon the composition of these signs, they are viewed from multiple perspectives, although significant reference is made to Roland Barthes’ punctum/studium dialectic. These signs are not only read as manifestations of robust ideology but also as indeterminate, and fragile. This article is also concerned with pragmatics on the Shanghai metro, or the relationships between people and signs, and illustrates how passengers perform within this semiotically charged environment in ways which, sometimes, undo, or subvert, urban rationality. Although this article specifically focuses upon the Shanghai metro, and one particular route in its parliament of lines, it is intended these observations not only inform but also are informed by accounts of social spaces beyond these limits.

KeywordsShanghai; Metro ; Signs; Ideology; Discourse; Studium; Punctum
Year2018
JournalSocial Semiotics
Journal citation28 (4), pp. 533-554
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1035-0330
1470-1219
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2017.1366392
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2017.1366392
Publication dates
Online22 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Aug 2017
Deposited11 Oct 2021
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8z2w4/riding-and-reading-the-shanghai-metro-signs-subjectivities-and-subversions-on-and-around-line-8

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