2nd Edition

Researching Language and Social Media A Student Guide

    218 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Researching Language and Social Media: A Student Guide introduces the linguistic frameworks currently used to analyse language found in social media contexts. This highly accessible guidebook outlines the practical steps and ethical guidelines entailed when gathering linguistic data from social media sites and platforms.

    In this new edition, the authors update the range of social media interactions used as examples and draw attention to important developments such as “fake news” and new areas of debate such as hate speech. Expanding the geographical and multilingual aspects, this edition also includes examples from Asia and the Arabic-speaking world. With updated methods that help students study the language of social media from a multimodal perspective, the recent uptake in image sharing, video-chat, and graphicons will also be addressed. Each chapter begins with a clear summary of the topics covered and also suggests sources for further reading to supplement the initial discussion and case studies.

    This timely book is an essential guide for students of English language and linguistics, media, and communication studies.

    List of figures

    List of tables



    1. What is social media?

    2. What might a linguist say about social media?

    3. What does it mean to research?

    4. What are Internet research ethics?

    5. Analysing Discourse: Qualitative approaches

    6. What are ethnographic approaches?

    7. Carrying out a study of language practices on social media?

    8. Collecting social media materials for quantitative projects

    9. Working with social media data: quantitative perspectives



    Ruth Page is a Reader at the University of Birmingham, UK, in the Department of English Language and Linguistics. She has written several books including Stories and Social Media (2012).

    David Barton is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, UK. He is co-author of Language Online (2013).

    Carmen Lee is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her major publications include Language Online (2013, with David Barton) and Multilingualism Online (2017).

    Johann Wolfgang Unger is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, UK. His most recent publication is ‘Digitally mediated discourse analysis’ in Researching Discourse (Routledge, 2020).

    Michele Zappavigna is Associate Professor in the School of Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    “Written by some of the foremost researchers and experienced teachers in the field this thoroughly revised edition includes new forms of digital communication and cultures as well as emergent methods of research while continuing to provide a highly accessible resource to those studying and researching language and social media.”

    Richard Fitzgerald, University of Macau, China

    “Recently updated to include an even broader array of platforms and topics, this latest edition of Researching Language and Social Media: A Student Guide addresses key methodological considerations in studying language in digital contexts. Essential reading for students – and more experienced scholars – interested in researching language online.”  

    Camilla Vásquez, University of South Florida, USA