Communicating inclusive and exclusive identities through multimodal signs in the linguistic landscape of a Danish university

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This paper springs from a larger project aimed at investigating communication in organisations as evidenced through multimodal means in their linguistic landscapes (Gorter, 2019).
From the multidisciplinary perspective adopted, we report on the qualitative study of a site at a Danish university, specifically a refectory and its immediate environs. The paper investigates multimodal signage targeting students as a non-integral part of their studies in order to identify how inclusion and exclusion are discursively communicated.
Through multimodal and linguistic landscape analysis, the paper investigates the strategies of stance-taking identifiable in the signage at the site and their contribution to the inclusive or exclusive construction of identities. The stance-taking exploration was centred on the strategies of engagement enhancement, while the identity construction strategies were examined from the perspective of the interplay between community and individuality. The impact of the meaning-making interaction of several semiotic resources - from language to images and materiality - upon these strategies is discussed from a social semiotic perspective (Höllerer et al., 2019).
This analytical work provides a nuanced understanding of the academic space of signage by systematically explaining how the multimodal character of the signage contributes to identity construction by providing new sources of meaning-making that cannot be found at the level of a single semiotic resource.

Gorter, D. (2019). Methods and techniques for linguistic landscape research: About definitions, core issues and technological innovations. In M. Pütz & N. Mundt (Eds.), Expanding the linguistic landscape: Linguistic diversity, multimodality and the use of space as a semiotic resource (39-57). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Höllererer, M.A., Van Leeuwen, T., Janksary, D. Meyer, R. E., Andersen, H.T., & Vaara, E. (2019). Visual and multimodal research in organization and management studies. London: Routledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateApr 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
EventDiversity and Inclusion across Languages - Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 29 Apr 202230 Apr 2022


ConferenceDiversity and Inclusion across Languages
LocationWirtschaftsuniversität Wien
Internet address


  • inclusive identity
  • exclusive identity
  • multimodality
  • linguistic landscape
  • stance-taking
  • community
  • individuality
  • social semiotics
  • identity construction
  • engagement


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