Introducing relational work in Facebook and discussion boards

Miriam A. Locher, Brook Bolander and Nicole Höhn

Abstract

This paper functions as the introduction to the special issue on ‘relational work in Facebook and discussion boards’. We position our research endeavors within interpersonal pragmatics (see Locher and Graham 2010), by reviewing literature on politeness, impoliteness and relational work in the context of computer-mediated communication. Foregrounding the relational aspect of language, we are particularly interested in establishing the connections between politeness, face and linguistic identity construction. We then position the four papers that form this special issue within this field of research. Two papers contribute to the study of relational work on discussion boards (Kleinke and Boes; Haugh, Chang and Kádár) and two deal with practices on Facebook (Theodoropoulou; Bolander and Locher).

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