Chapter published in:Reference and Identity in Public Discourses
Edited by Ursula Lutzky and Minna Nevala
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 306] 2019
► pp. 181–202
After we #VoteLeave we can #TakeControl
Political campaigning and imagined collectives on Twitter before the Brexit vote
This study explores the use of personal pronouns in the context of political agitation on Twitter in the run-up to the EU referendum 2016. Using a combination of corpus linguistic and discourse analytical techniques, it shows notable differences in the way in which personal pronouns were employed by Leavers and Remainers. In particular, we emerged as a significant factor distinguishing the online rhetoric of the two camps with Leavers using we more often and in a much more versatile manner. This study contributes to the growing body of research on ambient affiliations in political communication offering insights into the ways in which personal pronouns are strategically deployed to create imagined collectives for the purpose of political bonding and agitation online.
Keywords: Twitter, Brexit, corpora, identity construction, personal pronouns, ambient affiliations, imagined collectives
Published online: 21 October 2019
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