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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton December 29, 2014

Language of Cyber-Politics: "Imaging/Imagining" Communities

Fabienne H. Baider and Maria Constantinou
From the journal Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

Abstract

Assuming that “YouTube provides a deindividuated interactional context where social identity, including ethnic identity, is salient” (Garcés-Conejos Blitvich et al. 2013, our emphasis), we focus our analysis on the online discussants’ identity narratives (i.e. avatars, pseudonyms and comments) in order to investigate what makes each identity narrative into a cohesive specific ethos and how this ethos is coherent with the positioning of the party and their leaders. Our methodology includes qualitative analysis (avatars and pseudonyms) as well as a quantitative approach (comments vs leadership speeches). Our findings confirm that the emotions and ideologies salient in the leadership speeches and keywords are perpetuated, reinvented and re-enacted in avatars, pseudonyms and comments, constructing therefore a coherent virtual community. We also conclude that the ethos of this virtual community was built on the concept of resisting the loss of sovereignty (among other things to resist), symbolically co-constructed with myths, memories and a glorious past, instilling pride and unity, while cultivating anger, resentment and contempt against the “enemy”.

Received: 2014-10-24
Revised: 2014-11-15
Accepted: 2014-12-23
Published Online: 2014-12-29
Published in Print: 2014-12-29

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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