Publication details [#59506]

Martín Rojo, Luisa and Cristina Portillo. 2015. The transformation of urban space: Agency and constraints in a peripheral district in the post-industrial city of Madrid. AILA Review 28 (1) : 72–102.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper draws attention to the ways in which spatial configurations operate as constitutive dimensions of sociolinguistic phenomena and vice versa; that is, the way in which communicative practices frame daily life and the broader urban reality. The paper presents an approach which integrates the study of Linguistic Landscapes, the dynamics of deterritorialisation/reterritorialisation, proposed by Deleuze and Guattari (1987), and Bourdieu’s concept of social field. The paper shows that whilst there are possibilities of agency in urban space transformation, such opportunities are restricted by social agents’ positioning in the different social fields (e.g. tourism vs. local commerce), and by their positioning in relation to the social processes of assimilation, integration, segregation or marginalization.