1st Edition

Narrating Stance, Morality, and Political Identity Building a Movement on Facebook

By Lauren Zentz Copyright 2021
    272 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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.