Article published in:Participation in Public and Social Media Interactions
Edited by Marta Dynel and Jan Chovanec
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 256] 2015
► pp. 135–155
Humour in microblogging
Exploiting linguistic humour strategies for identity construction in two Facebook focus groups
Research within interpersonal pragmatics highlights the relational aspect of language in use (Locher and Graham 2010). While this focus has especially been dealt with in politeness research, it can also be fruitfully combined with the study of identity construction through language (see Locher 2008). The use of humour is such a means of identity construction since showing a sense of humour in interaction is valued in many contexts. This chapter reports on a project on Facebook status updates (see Bolander and Locher 2010, Locher and Bolander 2014) and thus provides insights into identity construction in an interactive Web 2.0 social network site, where the participation framework is such that status updates are written in a semi-public environment in front of an audience of ratified Facebook friends, who can decide to move from the role of overhearer/eavesdropper to participating actively. We conducted a qualitative discourse analytic study of how humour is used in status updates by participants of two Facebook focus groups. These humorous acts of microblogging (Zhao and Rosson 2009; Yus 2011; Zappavigna 2012) are contrasted with different types of identity construction in the other status updates. While some but not all convey that they have a sense of humour, others also evoke identities in connection with other personality traits, as well as making pastime, work, and relationships claims.
Published online: 12 February 2015
Cited by other publications
Chovanec, Jan & Villy Tsakona
Locher, Miriam A., Brook Bolander & Nicole Höhn
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