The ‘Spaghettification’ of Performativity Across Cultural Boundaries: The Trans-culturality/Trans-Spatiality of Digital Communication As an Event Horizon for Speech Acts

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (6):2435-2479 (2022)
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Abstract

Recently the CJEU decision in the case of ‘Ewa Glawischnig-Piesczek v. Facebook Ireland Limited’ has raised the issue of the transcultural/trans-territorial signification of hate speech and hate crimes. Taking a cue from this decision and the related semiotic/legal implications, the paper proposes an analysis of the semio/pragmatic conditions for the production of performativity inherent in hate speech across different cultural universes of discourse. Given that web-based digital communication is global—at least, potentially—regardless of any spatial/political compartmentalization, it crosses different semio-cultural circuits. This trans-spatiality implies transcultural crossings that can multiply and even transfigure the semantic implications of the original signifier and the related prognoses of ‘semantic effectiveness.’ Cultural boundaries therefore may function as a kind of ‘horizon of events’ for hate speech and, more inclusively, all linguistic acts and their legal signification/classification. The question then arises regarding whether and to what extent the performativity of hate speech is able to withstand the variation of cultural boundary conditions. Insofar as cultures are universes of experience, the issue to be investigated broadens, and ends up invoking the question of whether or not the production of performativity implicitly presupposes and tacitly epitomizes the semio-pragmatic implications/consequences (or, in Peircean terms, ‘bearings’) coextensive with cultural universes of experience. Were this the case, it would seem to call into question the very possibility of ‘making things only with words,’ or more explicitly, the alleged meaning of ‘linguistic acts.’

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How to Undo (and Redo) Words with Facts: A Semio-enactivist Approach to Law, Space and Experience.Mario Ricca - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 36 (1):313-367.

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References found in this work

How to do things with words.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. Edited by Marina Sbisá & J. O. Urmson.
Difference and repetition.Gilles Deleuze - 1994 - London: Athlone Press.
Of grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1997 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Edited by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

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