Gathering and separating communities: Affects and discourse in digital communication

Abstract : Human interaction works through affects in a cognitive way (Frijda 2003), insofar as we use perceptions and representations in order to comunicate (Auchlin 2003). Such perceptions are directly drawing on the emotional stances that link us to the social world and the meaning we make of it (Danziger 2006). We call these meaningful ties semantic nodes (Wagener 2012), and our goal in this presentation is to look at the way these nodes shape digital communication, especially when it comes to gathering people online-and separating them through discrimination. We will draw on previous studies (Wagener 2014, Wagener 2015, Wagener 2017) and present their corpora in order to take a look at the way the expression of affect in language actually creates communities. However, such online communities may share the same emotions, yet construct themselves against other imagined communities, thus developing a collective narrative of their own (Benhabib 2002, Meinhof & Galasinski 2005). We need to underline the fact that our definition of language is rooted in the ontologic multimodality of digital and human interaction, (Fairclough 1992), thus giving a semiotic flavour to our work (Stockinger 2001). In this perspective, affects are not only materialized through linguistic utterances, but also drawing on interdiscursive and argumentative processes (Garric & Longhi), which may involve images, communicational constraints, digital forms of interaction and, of course, rhetorics and styles.
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Albin Wagener. Gathering and separating communities: Affects and discourse in digital communication. Affect in Language, University of Helsinki; Research Community CoCoLaC (Comparing and Contrasting Languages and Cultures), Feb 2018, Helsinki, Finland. ⟨hal-02129181⟩

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