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Relational work and the display of multilingualism in two Facebook groups
Book Item (Buchkapitel, Lexikonartikel, jur. Kommentierung, Beiträge in Sammelbänden)
ID 2434615
Author(s) Locher, Miriam A.; Bolander, Brook
Author(s) at UniBasel Locher, Miriam
Bolander, Brook
Year 2014
Title Relational work and the display of multilingualism in two Facebook groups
Book title Face work and social media
Publisher Lit-Verlag
Place of publication Wien
Pages 157-191
ISSN/ISBN 3-643-90435-5 ; 978-3-643-90435-5
Series title Hildesheimer Beiträge zur Medienforschung
Number 2
Keywords Facebook, code-switching, multingualism, Internet, CMC
Abstract This paper explores the use of different languages and instances of code-switching as displays of identity construction in 474 status updates (SUs) and 795 responses to status updates (RSUs) in two groups of 10 Facebook users. The UK-based focus group primarily draws on English, while the Swiss-based focus group makes use of a number of different languages and thus displays a more multilingual identity. While in the Swiss focus group status updates are predominantly written in lingua franca English (targeting the wider Facebook group), when engaging in exchanges catering to a smaller group of addressees interlocutors often draw on the language code established offline. Code-switches often function as sources for the enactment of culturally-specific genres, to index a particular addressee and connected with this one’s alignment towards him/her, for formulaic discourse purposes, and to mark that the SU or RSU is humorous (cf. Androutsopoulos 2013). By serving these functions, the display of multilingualism can be linked to identity construction in the highly performative practice of writing status updates and responses to them.
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