Article published in:Formality and Informality in Online Performances
Edited by Sofia Rüdiger and Susanne Mühleisen
[Internet Pragmatics 5:1] 2022
► pp. 66–91
Complaining, teasing, and meme-framing
Socializing through Moments storytelling
This article explores the pragmatic act of complaining on WeChat Moments (henceforth Moments) focusing on the following question: When complaints are made in a social context where ratified viewers are hard to define, how are such acts constructed and construed? The multimodal data under study come from a project designed to address the under-examined issue of indirect complaints in Chinese social media. Drawing on the conceptualization of frame analysis in pragmatic studies and informed by a conversation analytical approach, this article proposes the concept of social complaints, accounting for how Moments users employ it performatively to deal with serious matters, to socialize and to manage rapport with people in their social networks. Teasing, it is found, is often performed in both complaints and responses to the complaints, which manifests Moments users’ flexible positioning strategies in handling interpersonal relations.
Keywords: social complaints, teasing, internet memes, frames, multimodality, positioning, WeChat Moments
- 2.Literature review and research background
- 2.1Complaints in the literature
- 2.2Social complaints
- 2.3Research background
- 3.Data and methods
- 3.2Theoretical framework
- 4.Meme-framing in SCs
- 4.1The storyteller being projected
- 4.2Ambiguous projection
- 5.The formality and informality in social complaints
Published online: 24 November 2021
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