From small stories to networked narrative
The evolution of personal narratives in Facebook status updates
This article addresses the emergence of networked narration found in Facebook updates. Drawing on anthropological approaches to co-tellership (Ochs & Capps, 2001), we trace how storyworlds are co-constructed by multiple narrators via the communicative affordances which have developed in the Facebook status update: namely, the practices of commenting, liking, linking, tagging, photo-sharing, and marking geographical location. Our longitudinal analysis of 1800 updates elicited from 60 participants over a period of four years suggests that the rise of what we call a ‘networked narrative’ allows individuals to participate collectively in the construction of ‘shared stories’ (Georgakopoulou, 2007), and through this process for narrators to co-construct their social identities through their interactions with others. We argue that the distribution of storytelling as it takes place on Facebook may be found in other online and offline contexts, and challenges earlier, linear models of narrative form that have dominated discourse-analytic and literary-critical narratology.
Cited by 31 other publications
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