LRDG: Vernacular literacies and Facebook: A case study of mobile multilingual resources in online writing

Date: 30 October 2012 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

New media contexts provide an important research field from which to examine how internet users use mobile linguistic resources across contexts. This study looks at how existing offline communities have been expanded to online contexts and the affordances of the new media used to develop ways of deploying linguistic resources for migrants and their families. Writing is increasingly used in contexts where the availability of digital technologies allows people to create social bonds through vernacular forms of writing which remain integral to their private lives but which are not recognized as valid by dominant institutions (Barton and Papen 2010). This paper examines the vernacular online literacy practices of one family and their extended online network of 'friends' through the photographs and comments they post on Facebook. The types of text which are examined, in addition to being part of the respondents' everyday lives, are also related to the complex processes of migration. The aim is to demonstrate the significance of online writing practices not only to the individuals involved but also in relation to what they reveal about wider processes of marriage migration and transnational family life. The study is part of a broader program of ethnographic research on the literacy practices of a family from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and Accrington, UK, where vernacular literacy practices are examined alongside the dominant literacies of the visa process.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Uta Papen (Linguistics and English Language), Ruth Wodak (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Digital literacies, Literacy practices, Migration, Vernacular literacies