Article published In:Pragmatics: Online-First Articles
Millennial identity work in BlablaCar online reviews
In the age of Internet communication, car sharing as well as other types of sharing (accommodation, offices, etc.) has led to the emergence of the so-called sharing economy platforms, such as BlaBlaCar. Previous studies have demonstrated that millennials (i.e., those born between 1981 and 1999) are the most representative generational cohort regarding their interests in activities organized around BlaBlaCar and similar sites (Činjarević, Kožo and Berberović 2019). One direct consequence of this fact is that the way in which millennials communicate in this particular affinity space (Gee 2005; Jenkins 2006) may be highly informative of their discursive identities (Bucholtz and Hall 2005).Against this backdrop, this study examines 1,000 online reviews taken from www.BlablaCar.es, in order to, first, understand how millennials conceptualize their experiences in BlaBlaCar; second, examine how identity emerges through labels and implicatures (Bucholtz and Hall 2005); and third, discuss and understand the relationship between the discourse identity shaped in BlaBlaCar reviews and millennials’ social identity. The findings reveal that BlaBlaCar reviews are highly informative of users’ identities and their relational needs. Also, these reviews no longer comply with traditional definitions of ‘consumer reviews’, and a re-conceptualization is needed.
Keywords: discursive identity, millennials, BlaBlaCar, sharing economy, identities-in-interaction, implicatures
- 2.Users’ conceptualization of reviews
- 3.Identity as a discursive construct
- 4.Millennial identity and their virtual self
- 5.Data and method
- 6.1Thematic analysis
- 6.2Identity construction (RQ2)
- 6.2.1Labelling as a process of individual identity formation
- 6.2.2Hints as processes of invoked identities-in-interaction
- 7.Discussion: Millennial identity and their discursive self in reviews
Published online: 25 April 2023
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