1st Edition

Innovations and Challenges in Social Media Discourse Analysis

By Michele Zappavigna, Andrew Ross Copyright 2025
    202 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Innovations and Challenges in Social Media Discourse Analysis provides a key introduction to the analysis of everyday discourse on social media platforms.


    Outlining the challenges involved in the study of social media discourse that includes social interaction, relationality, intersubjectivity and intermodality, this book takes a social semiotic approach to offer a useful reconceptualisation of existing tools and introduces new methodologies to help those studying in this area.


    Drawing on a range of corpora that feature tweets, Instagram photos, YouTube comments and emoji, this book is essential reading for students studying modules on discourse analysis and language and media.



    List of acronyms and abbreviations

    Chapter 1 - Introduction

    Chapter 2 - Searchable Talk

    Chapter 3 - Construing Values

    Chapter 4 - Ambient Affiliation - Communing and Negotiating

    Chapter 5 - Intersubjectivity and Self-representation in Multimodal Social Media

    Chapter 6 - Social Media Paralanguage: Emoji in Social Media Communication 

    Chapter 7 - Conclusion: Ambient Affiliation as Semiotic Labour



    Michele Zappavigna is Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her major research interest is in exploring ambient affiliation in the discourse of social media using social semiotic, multimodal, and corpus-based methods. She is a co-editor of the journal Visual Communication. Key books include Searchable Talk: Hashtags and Social Media Metadiscourse (2018, Bloomsbury) and Discourse of Twitter and Social Media (2012, Bloomsbury). Recent co-authored books include Researching the Language of Social Media (2014; 2022, Routledge) and Modelling Paralanguage Using Systemic Functional Semiotics (2021, Bloomsbury) and Emoji and Social Media Paralanguages (2024, Cambridge University Press).


    Andrew S. Ross is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canberra. His research focuses on the use of (multimodal) critical discourse analysis in social media discourse. His work includes the edited volumes The Sociolinguistics of Hip-Hop as Critical Conscience: Dissatisfaction and Dissent (2018, Palgrave Macmillan) and Discourses of (De)Legitimization: Participatory Culture in Digital Contexts (2019, Routledge). His work has appeared in journals such as New Media & Society; Discourse, Context & Media; Language and Communication; and Social Media + Society.

    “Why do we spend so much time on social networking apps? What are we doing there? In this book Zappavigna and Ross consolidate their pioneering work on ambient affiliation – insightfully explaining from a social semiotic perspective how words and images negotiate our relationships as we live our lives on-line.”

    Jim Martin, University of Sydney, Australia


    Innovations and challenges in social media discourse analysis: Exploring ambient affiliation and social media paralanguage' brings together the field-shaping work on ambient affiliation and paralanguage in a one-stop, cutting-edge exploration of how our everyday interactions create and contest social connections between us. Drawing on a wide range of social media, the book provides an in-depth exploration of language, selfies and emojis. Situated firmly within the Systemic Functional Linguistics, this book is a landmark publication that will be of interest to scholars seeking to analyse the crucial topic of how interpersonal communication works in social media.”

    Ruth Page, University of Birmingham, UK