This book offers unique insights into the use of Facebook after the 2016 US presidential election, interrogating how users in private groups draw on individual experiences in movement building and identity construction while also critically reflecting on ethnographic practices around social media.
The volume draws on the author’s own involvement in a specific Facebook group focused around activism and community organizing in Texas following the 2016 US presidential election. Chapters draw on the frameworks of "small stories" and "stance" to unpack the ways in which group members use parts of their individual stories to signal beliefs to others, present themselves in relation to the group, and signal virtues of moral authority on various pressing political issues. Building on these analyses, Zentz goes on to address ways in which the scales of politics are being navigated and modified at the grassroots level in our highly networked world. This book contributes to ongoing conversations about the realities of internet use within linguistic anthropology and new media studies, and how researchers might seek to account for social media use and access to this data as these technologies develop further.
This book is key reading for students and scholars in linguistic anthropology, media studies, and activism and social movement studies.
Table of Contents
List of Images
List of Tables
Preface: Some Context
Chapter 1: Biographies, Stance, and Moral Politics: Analyzing stories in an era of destabilized politics and communication
Chapter 2: Challenging Ethnography: The ethics and relationships of online research
Chapter 3: "Our newfound optimism in democracy": Small stories of moral inspiration, epistemic authority, and affective appeal
Chapter 4: "You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox": Alignment, collaboration, and bonding in the formation of a group identity online
Chapter 5: "25 doors please": Keeping boots on the ground and fingers on the phone in a networked nation
Chapter 6: Biographies, Stance, and Moral Politics: Saving the nation in the social media age
Appendix A: Data coding and collection information and examples
Appendix B: Presentation of data
Lauren Zentz is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Houston, USA.