Face-work in online discourse: Practices and multiple conceptualizations

Tuija Virtanen, Carmen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Digital media are rapidly changing and so are their face-work practices. At the same time, the interaction is increasingly multilingual and/or transcultural in nature, reflecting ‘glocal’ practices and multiple conceptualizations of face. This article collection offers a much-needed overview of face-work in online discourse, in a series of detailed and original studies of the pragmatics of face and face-work in various modes of online contexts. The collection approaches face-work in the wide sense of identity construction, impression management, relational work, and (im)politeness. The six studies included showcase (re)negotiations of interactional norms through analyses of verbal and multimodal indices of face-work across platforms and languages, raising metapragmatic issues and explicitly scrutinizing face as a fundamental notion in pragmatics. Individual studies focus on the bidirectional relation of online and offline practices, consider social and power relations, as well as social norms and problems. Several articles approach face-work in relation to users' interpretations of (im)politeness and their sense of audiences. Methodological and research ethical issues are given due attention throughout the collection. The studies highlight the importance of understanding the workings of face in online discourse for insight into social media as a locus of phatic communion as well as of verbal aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume195
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Face, Face-work, Relational work, Identity construction, Pragmatics of online discourse, Digital discourse, Computer-mediated communication, Social media

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