'I was here!': Addressivity structures and inscribing practices as indexical resources

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27 Scopus citations


The article examines how practices of inscription and structures of addressivity (Goffman) at a symbolic site provide implicit indexical means for establishing subjectivities and agencies. By examining a visitor book located in a national commemoration site in Jerusalem, Israel, the article first argues that inscribing practices themselves can function as implicit indexical mechanisms. In ritualized environments, inscribing assumes the function of a non-referential indexical because discourse is materially engraved unto a surround. These environments are also characterized by prescribed addressivity structures. The article goes on to discern between a number of addressivity structures, evinced in visitors' aesthetisized entries. These structures serve as contextualizing cues and evince the ways visitors establish subjectivities and participation in national commemoration. Addressivity structures are shown to construct different types of social actors, and the spaces and temporalities within which they operate. Building on previous research on performance, the article shows how addressivity and inscription together supply the prerequisites for situated performances of identities and selves on inscribed and symbolic stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-440
Number of pages20
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Addressivity
  • Commemoration
  • Identity
  • Ideology
  • Indexicality
  • Inscription


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