A sign in the window: Social norms and community resilience through handmade signage in the age of Covid-19
The proliferation of handmade signage, physical installations, and other neighborhood scale visual communication in the months following the outbreak of Covid-19 presented a unique opportunity to consider how new norms of social conduct and community solidarity are established and negotiated in public space. This study examines the cultural and spatial implications of this informal visual communication through street-level photographic analysis conducted over 18 months in communities around the United States, producing a typology of observed phenomena and highlighting differences across time, place, politics, and intentions. In particular, the author illustrates how the signs not only work to negotiate new norms for public conduct during a time of fear, misinformation, and inconsistent guidelines, but in doing so effectively demonstrate what a grassroots community response looks like to this unusual kind of extreme event.
Covid-19, disaster response, informal urbanism, pandemic, signs, social norms, volunteerism
Urban and Regional Planning
Gordon C.C. Douglas. "A sign in the window: Social norms and community resilience through handmade signage in the age of Covid-19" Linguistic Landscape (2022): 184-201. https://doi.org/10.1075/ll.21037.dou