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Soc. Sci. 2014, 3(4), 871-892;

Language in the Wild—Living the Carnival in Social Media

Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg, Box 300, Gothenburg SE405 30, Sweden
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 October 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Social Learning)
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This study presents results from an intervention case study at upper secondary level, in which Blogger was introduced during English class. The overarching interest was to explore the students’ social performances and their interplay with students’ uses of language across multiple forms of literate activities in blogging. The study draws on a sociocultural perspective, taking a particular interest in language as a meditational tool for communication and interaction in the students’ own digital vernacular practices. Goffman’s dramaturgical approach including the concepts of performance and role distance in front and back regions together with Bakhtin’s notion of carnival were invoked as analytical tools for the analysis of video material as well as ethnographic scraping of online content in the blog. It was found that the students presented a witty, humorous image of themselves, while playing around with language as well as bringing in manipulated media for mockery and self-irony. Analytically speaking the students were living the carnival by utilizing a norm-breaking language—a language in the wild. Though this in-depth study presents a limited number of students’ blogging, the findings contribute to an increased understanding of the in situ creation of a blogger text providing a basis for discussing the uses of language in social media and what this implies for learning languages and for teaching practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: language use; social media; Bakhtin; carnival; Goffman; performance; blogging; interaction analysis; role distance language use; social media; Bakhtin; carnival; Goffman; performance; blogging; interaction analysis; role distance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Vigmo, S.; Lantz-Andersson, A. Language in the Wild—Living the Carnival in Social Media. Soc. Sci. 2014, 3, 871-892.

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