Race, circulation, and the city: The case of the Chicago city sticker controversy

Robert Topinka

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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The city sticker controversy began when an anonymous, openly racist blog accused a Latino boy of smuggling gang imagery into his contest-wining design for the 2012 Chicago vehicle sticker. It continued when mainstream media outlets repeatedly cited the blog’s accusations without acknowledging its racism. I argue that a form of circulation that contains bodies of color and promotes the mobility of other bodies helped to secure the credibility of the blog’s claims, consolidating the association of bodies of color with gang violence. I explore the relationships among the processes and practices of urban circulation, race, digital media, and mainstream media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-184
Number of pages22
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


  • Race
  • Circulation
  • Blog
  • Gang

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