Textually Produced Landscape Spectacles? A Debordian Reading of Finnish Namescapes and English Soccerscapes

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/38603
Title: Textually Produced Landscape Spectacles? A Debordian Reading of Finnish Namescapes and English Soccerscapes
Author: Vuolteenaho, Jani; Kolamo, Sami
Publisher: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Date: 2012
Language: en
Belongs to series: COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 13
ISBN: 978-952-10-8578-9
ISSN: 1796-2986
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/38603
Abstract: In this article, a critical attempt is made to read the language of contemporary urban boosterism – its eulogistic adjectives and slogans, escapist evocations in nomenclature, nostalgic narratives, etc. – through the lens of The Society of the Spectacle (1995, orig. 1967), Guy Debord’s controversial theoretico-political manifesto. Through discussion of empirical examples, the authors shed light on different types of in-situ landscape texts in Finnish and English cities. In the former national context, culturally escapist and non-native names given to leisurescapes and technoscapes have mushroomed over the last quarter century. While this process represents a semi-hegemonic rather than hegemonic trend, many developers’ reliance on the “independent” representational power of language has substantially reshaped naming practices in the non-Anglophone country. The analysis of different types of promotional texts at England’s major soccerscapes evinces the co-presence of nostalgic evocations of local history amidst the hypercommodification of space. Arguably, the culturally self-sufficient, tradition-aware representational strategies in current English football stem from pressure from fans, the country’s status as the cradle of modern football, and a privileged possibility to promote the game’s “native” meanings via a globally-spoken language. Finally, this article addresses the pros and cons of using the spectacle theoretical framework to analyse critically language-based urban boosterism and branding under the current conditions of neoliberal urbanism.
Subject: spectacle theory
textuality
urban landscapes
football stadiums
place branding
Rights: © author(s) & Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies


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