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Communicative digital practices of Algerians on Facebook

Abdelhamid, F. (2021) Communicative digital practices of Algerians on Facebook. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00109912


This study examines the way young Algerians employ linguistic and other semiotic resources at their disposal to communicate meaning on the social network site Facebook. Algeria is a multilingual speech community where individuals constantly mix between languages and language varieties in spoken discourse (Bagui, 2014). These include among others, the mother tongue of the majority Algerian Arabic, the official language Modern�Standard Arabic and the foreign languages learnt at schools French and English. This study is interested in exploring how are these linguistic resources used by Algerian Facebook users online and how are they combined with other affordances available on Facebook to communicate meaning, project identities, construct and address different audiences in this heterogeneous online environment. Data collection for the study combines quantitative and qualitative means which include (1) an online questionnaire distributed to 205 Algerian Facebook users, (2) screenshots of Facebook walls of four selected participants and (3) interviews with them, and finally (4) extracted posts and comments from one public Algerian Facebook page. The theoretical framework used to analyse the data combines concepts from the theory of Translanguaging (García & Li, 2014; Li, 2011a, 2017) and the Audience Design model (Androutsopoulos, 2014; Bell, 1984, 2001, 2009). The framework approaches Facebook users’ practices as creative ones and the findings indicate that participants combine an array of different resources to situate themselves in an online translanguaging space in which they express humoristic content, project multiple identities and index membership of local and global communities. The findings further indicate that linguistic and semiotic choices serve as a maximisation strategy for the audience of one’s contributions on Facebook pages. The study contributes to our understanding of digital communicative practices by highlighting the link between linguistic and non�linguistic choices and broader issues of social practice, identity and addressitivity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Themistocleous, C. and Jones, R.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Literature and Languages
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:109912


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