LINGUIST List 20.3834|
Tue Nov 10 2009
Calls: Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics/Switzerland
Editor for this issue: Kate Wu
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From Face to Facebook: Performing (Im)politeness
Message 1: From Face to Facebook: Performing (Im)politeness
From: Cornelius Puschmann <cornelius.puschmannuni-duesseldorf.de>
Subject: From Face to Facebook: Performing (Im)politeness
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Full Title: From Face to Facebook: Performing (Im)politeness
Date: 30-Jun-2010 - 02-Jul-2010
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Contact Person: Cornelius Puschmann
Meeting Email: cornelius.puschmannuni-duesseldorf.de
Web Site: http://blog.ynada.com/167
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics
Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2009
In its earliest days, politeness theory set out to identify 'universals in
language use' (Brown and Levinson 1978). Such claims to universality were later
contested, in particular with regard to cultural variation (e.g. Wierzbicka
1991): norms of appropriateness, concepts of face and other sociopragmatic
aspects are nowadays accepted to be (somewhat) culture-specific. In the light of
such 'variationist' tendencies, it may be asked whether politeness and
self-presentation are also medium- and technology-specific. Are there new
politeness paradigms in online communication, especially in its most recent forms?
Call for Papers
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr are
'technologies of the self' (Foucault) where people do things with words in a
very literal sense. Constructing a digital self via video, images and still most
prominently language ('meforming'; Naaman et al. 2009) and negotiating it in
exchanges with other users are central activities in social media formats. While
facework could previously be classified unambiguously in terms of linguistic and
non-linguistic actions, the digitally constructed self also 'acts' via language
when symbolically engaging in interpersonal activities such as liking, poking,
friending, following, banning and muting. These linguistic quasi-actions replace
the means which are available offline to indicate stance and manage impressions
and therefore fulfill an important function. In a larger sense, it appears that
the concept of 'face' itself has taken on a new meaning in digital social media
that is simultaneously more encompassing and more important: establishing and
negotiating an online identity has become one of the central activities of
We particularly invite contributions on the following issues:
- Constructing and maintaining face in social media
- Performative and metacommunicative acts in social media
- Consequences and implications of online self exposure: identity management,
identity safety, privacy vs. exposure
- Performing face in social media vs. Web 1.0 and pre-digital settings
- The mitigation of face in online/offline interactions.
This panel focuses on the related aspects of self-presentation and symbolic
actions as components of digital face management. We welcome contributions
addressing all forms of online communication; studies regarding more recent
social media are especially welcome. Both theory-building and data-driven
contributions are of interest.
Abstracts (500 words max.) should be submitted by December 1, 2009. Please feel
free to contact the panel organizers for more information:
Brown, Penelope and Stephen C. Levinson. 1978. Politeness. Some Universals in
Language Usage. Cambridge: CUP.
Foucault, Michel. 1988. 'Technologies of the self.' In Luther H. Martin, Huck
Gutman and Patrick Hutton (eds) Technologies of the Self. Amherst:
University of Massachusetts Press. 16-49.
Naaman, Mor, Jeffrey Boase and Chi-Hui Lai. 2009. 'Is it really about me?
Message content in social awareness streams.' CSCW 2010, February 6-10, 2010,
Savannah, Georgia, USA. Available at
Wierzbicka, Anna. 1991. Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human
Interaction. Berlin: de Gruyter.
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