2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Saturday, July 29 • 14:00 - 15:00
Panel 2D: Critical Approaches To Social Media Discourses

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Panel Speakers: Eleonora Esposito, Majid Khosravinik, Francesco Sinatora and Mohammedwesam Amer

Abstract: Digitally mediated communication has created its native genres and forms of interaction, which combine various channels and modalities of communication as well as integrating synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication. This new communication protocol of Social Media Communication has been breaking away from the traditional clear‐cut demarcation between text producers and consumers, replacing the unidirectional, one‐to‐many interface of mass media with what appears to be a many‐to‐many dynamic of discursive practice. For its fluid, changeable and non‐static nature, these discursive practices pose a challenge in terms of genre definitions, which, in turn, impacts on issues of adopting/adapting linguistic methods and approaches in the analysis of such discourses.

This Panel aims at accommodating the new technological and epistemological challenges as well as arguing for viability of a continued critical approach for these new spaces of participatory communication following on traditions of Critical Discourse Analysis. By dealing with discourse, not technology as its central object of analysis, the contributions of this panel do not simply investigate what happens on the digital platforms in isolation but engage with how it may shape and influence social and political sphere of our life worlds. Without overemphasizing the distinctions between online and offline worlds, the contributions of this panel set out to problematise the intertextual and interdiscursive relations between the two levels of Social Media discursive practice and repertoire of dominant discourses in the wider society. Such an endeavour aims to do a socially committed, problem‐oriented, textually based, critical analysis of Social Media discourse as an articulation of CDS of the participatory web.  

With three papers on the topic, the panel will not only tackle the main theoretical, methodological and applicational issues related to the analysis of Social Media data, but will also present case studies on the use of Social Media in non-Western settings, the Middle East and the Caribbean, with a focus on issues of identity, power and representation.

Saturday July 29, 2017 14:00 - 15:00 EDT
TRS 1-077- 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C19