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LRDG: Greek crisis and stance-taking on Facebook

Date: 14 May 2013 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

Mariza Georgalou, Lancaster University, will be speaking on:

Occurring both at a personal and a socio-political level, crisis has disrupted Greek people's daily life. In the contemporary social media landscape, with the perpetual user-generated and user-consumed content, stances that concern this critical turning point have found fertile soil to thrive. In this presentation I look at the means by which Facebook participants communicate emotions, thoughts, opinions and assessments towards the Greek crisis and its concomitants: unemployment, austerity, high taxation, governmental instability, riots, uncertainty, insecurity, and pessimism.

In consonance with Du Bois (2007: 163), I see stance not only as a linguistic act but also as a social act performed in public by a social actor, who deploys overt communicative means to evaluate objects, position subjects (self and others), and align with others, invoking shared systems of sociocultural value. Stance-taking, therefore, is an act of self-presentation and social judgement by which we inevitably say something about our view of the world (Thurlow and Jaworski 2011).

Drawing on findings from an ongoing discourse-centered online ethnography (Androutsopoulos 2008), I present a multimodal dataset of Facebook status updates, comments, video links, photos, and interview excerpts from four different Greek users. In my analysis I focus on the expression of stances through features such as affective and epistemic markers, pronouns, rhetorical questions, commonplaces, and irony.

One of the reasons to use Facebook is to position one's self within the current crisis context and convey stances with a view to influencing, informing, validating, claiming or disclaiming. Different Facebook affordances lead to different ways of developing stances within the medium. I show that these stances can be interactional, multimodal, and/or intertextual. As public performances of identity, crisis stances on Facebook are not posted to the void but are co-constructed, shaped, enforced, measured, judged, aligned and disaligned by a viewing audience.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Julia Gillen (Linguistics and English Language)

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

Keywords: Digital literacies, Stance


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