Researching Language and Social Media : A Student Guide book cover
1st Edition

Researching Language and Social Media
A Student Guide

ISBN 9780415842006
Published June 26, 2014 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Social Media is fast becoming a key area of linguistic research. This highly accessible guidebook leads students through the process of undertaking research in order to explore the language that people use when they communicate on social media sites.

This textbook provides:

  • An introduction to the linguistic frameworks currently used to analyse language found in social media contexts
  • An outline of the practical steps and ethical guidelines entailed when gathering linguistic data from social media sites and platforms
  • A range of illustrative case studies, which cover different approaches, linguistic topics, digital platforms, and national contexts

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. Written with an international outlook, Researching Language and Social Media is an essential book for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Linguistics, Media Studies and Communication Studies.

Table of Contents

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 in Social Media? 8. Collecting Social Media Materials for Quantitative Projects 9. Working with Social Media Data: Quantitative Perspectives

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Ruth Page works in the School of English at the University of Leicester. She is the author of Literary and Linguistic Approaches to Feminist Narratology (2006) and Stories and Social Media (2012), editor of New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality (2010), and co-editor of New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age (2011).

David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Linguistics at Lancaster University and Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre. His recent publications include Language Online (2013) and Local Literacies (reissued 2012), both Routledge.

Johann W. Unger is a lecturer at Lancaster University’s department of Linguistics and English Language. His recent publications include The Discursive Construction of Scots (2013, Benjamins).

Michele Zappavigna is a lecturer in the School of Arts and the Media at the University of New South Wales. Her recent books include Discourse of Twitter and Social Media (Continuum, 2012) and Tacit Knowledge and Spoken Discourse (Bloomsbury, 2013).


'Our everyday interest in social media means that different types of language used in a variety of platforms (such as Facebook and Twitter) deserve to be investigated more fully. The authors brilliantly show how this can be done, ranging from the use of ethnographic to corpus linguistic methods. Readers benefit from succinct chapter outlines, relevant case studies, further investigative questions and up-to-date bibliographic references.'

Vincent B Y Ooi, National University of Singapore


'Researching Language and Social Media offers a highly accessible, systematic introduction to the language of social media.Clearly structured and abundantly illustrated with practical examples, this valuable research guide is destined to become vital reading for students who wish to conduct research on computer-mediated discourse. Highly recommended!' 

Christian Hoffmann, University of Augsburg, Germany 


'Researching Language and Social Media is the first of its kind: it is an essential primer for those who study how language, literacy, writing, and discourse operate not just within social media contexts but across them, too. As an internet researcher and digital literacies specialist, this is the book I've been waiting for. I plan to use it for my own scholarship and as a key text in both undergraduate and graduate research courses for many years to come.'

Alice Daer, Arizona State University, USA