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Title: 'Friends', 'fans', and foes : identity performance through responses to Facebook brand marketing
Author: Gilbert, Lori LaRayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 934X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is an investigation of a relatively recently-emerging type of social media discourse, where individuals reply to marketing and advertising messages that appear within their Facebook news feeds. Unlike in consumer discourse such as product reviews, the primary purpose of this interaction appears to be social in nature, due in part to the brand posts’ contextualization within the social space of the news feed. This thesis is concerned with the ways that responders ‘use’ news feed marketing messages as opportunities for the performance of identity, and how this is achieved linguistically through discursive exchange and evaluative language. This research question is approached through a triangulated discourse analytic approach grounded in Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004/2014), with a particular focus on the interpersonal dimension of meaning. The corpus includes 18 brand posts, consisting of images, text, and hyperlinks, and 540 comment responses. The first analytical layer is an analysis of the context of the interaction, which consists of a multimodal generic analysis of the form and function of the brand posts, as well as a description of the communicative purposes of responders (Martin & Rose, 2003; 2008). The second stage of analysis is a consideration of identity performance through interactive discourse exchange, using Negotiation analysis (Eggins & Slade, 1997; Martin, 1992). Finally, the third and central layer of analysis employs Appraisal theory (Martin & White, 2005) to investigate performances of identity through evaluation of emotions, aesthetics, and ethics. While there is an increasingly large amount of quantitative research considering the use and effectiveness of this emerging advertising model, there is to date no qualitative linguistic research considering the role of identity in responses to brand messages. The present study addresses this gap in the literature, whilst also addressing methodological issues and suggesting adaptations for applying these linguistic frameworks to computer moderated communication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available