Managing conflict originated by feminism
A case study from WhatsApp interaction among Spanish family members
The aim of this study is to analyze how conflict begins, unfolds and ends in a WhatsApp interaction within a Spanish family on 2018’s International Women’s Day. The analytical framework proposed by Bou-Franch and Garcés-Conejos Blitvich (2014) is applied to a conversation that began at 10:37 am on March 8 and ended at 1:47 am on March 9. Multimodal analysis is used to consider not only participants’ linguistic strategies for expressing their opinions about feminism, but also the function of multimedia elements and emojis. The results show that conflict is constructed across multiple turns when some participants’ pro-feminist views are seen negatively by others. Thus, feminism emerges as a source of conflict among the family members. Another important issue drawn from the findings is the key role played by multimodal elements which have different functions related to how conflict is created and unfolds, such as being the origin of conflict itself, showing disapproval with others’ opinions, intensifying opinions to show emotion or trying to reduce face-threat.
Keywords: WhatsApp, conflict talk, feminism, digital discourse, family interaction
Published online: 17 December 2019
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