This chapter examines how ironic utterances in forums are used for the purpose of collective positioning of the commenting readers in opposition to other groups. Approaching irony as an act of
, the analysis focuses on how readers echo both the representations made by the media texts and the beliefs and ideologies presumed to be held by other social actors. It is argued that through irony, readers express their oppositional attitudes, disaffiliating themselves from the ironized social actors and their real or assumed representations. Simultaneously, ironists enforce their own opinions and standpoints, which are not just personal but – as argued in the paper – representative of a larger group to which the commenter belongs. By tracing how irony is used in reader comments to delegitimize dissonant views and emphasize contrastive , this paper seeks to extend the application of an interactional pragmatic approach to irony by adding a critical discourse analytical dimension to it.
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