Leeds Voices: Communicating superdiversity in the market




Funded by the British Academy / Leverhulme Trust
Phase 1 (October – December 2015) of the Leeds Voices project was funded by the Sadler Seminar Series.

This project examines the embodied multilingual/cultural accommodations that people of different ethnicities make in their interactions at Kirkgate Market. A key objective is to explore how far different multilingual public spaces generate contextually-dynamic and demotic forms of everyday civility, something rarely highlighted in dominant discourses about cohesion. This will be addressed through four primary research questions:

  • To what extent can Kirkgate Market be seen as a place of superdiverse forms of accommodation, which includes, but extends beyond a focus on ethnicity, at an historical moment when inter-ethic conflict is discursively situated as the norm?
  • How is linguistic accommodation to others expressed? How does it transform and create its own forms of civility? How does it work across related languages?
  • How do non-linguistic forms of cultural accommodation relate to linguistic forms? What is the significance of such strategies for trading?
  • How are these micro-social behaviours shaped contextually by the more general sort of time-space location that Kirkgate Market represents?

Publications and outputs

  • Adami, E. (2018) ‘Shaping the Social through the Aesthetics of Public Places: The Renovation of Leeds Kirkgate Market’ in Frida Forsgren & Elise Seip Tønnessen (Eds.) Multimodality and Aesthetics, London: Routledge Series in Multimodality, 89-112
  • Adami, E. (2018) ‘Multimodal sign-making in today’s diversity: The case of Leeds Kirkgate Market’, in A. Sherris and E. Adami Making signs, translanguaging ethnographies: Exploring urban, rural, and educational spaces. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 36-54
  • Adami, E. (2018) Shaping Public Spaces from Below: The Vernacular Semiotics of Leeds Kirkgate Market. Social Semiotics (online-first publication 11 Oct 2018). doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2018.1531515 

Project website