Chapter published in:Corpus Approaches to Social Media
Edited by Sofia Rüdiger and Daria Dayter
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 98] 2020
► pp. 15–40
Towards a digital sociolinguistics
Communities of Practice on Reddit
This paper investigates to what extent the ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) concept can be applied to the subreddits r/leagueoflegends, r/linguistics, and r/rupaulsdragrace. Using qualitative and quantitative corpus-linguistic methods, the study analyses users’ self-understanding of the subreddits, how often and in which contexts they discuss the concept of community, how often they frequent different subreddits, and which words they typically use online. The paper relies on frequency analysis, manual analysis of tokens, and an innovative system of rating user contributions in order to understand their posting behaviour. Although there are limitations, all important criteria defining CoPs are met by the subreddits. The chapter thus shows that corpus-linguistic methods are useful for the investigation of social media from a sociolinguistic perspective.
Keywords: Community of Practice, corpus linguistics, Reddit, social media, sociolinguistics
Published online: 04 November 2020
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