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Title: The linguistics of self-branding and micro-celebrity in Twitter : The role of hashtags
Authors: Page, Ruth
First Published: May-2012
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Discourse and Communication, 2012, 6 (2), pp. 181-201
Abstract: Twitter is a linguistic marketplace (Bourdieu, 1977) in which the processes of self-branding and micro-celebrity (Marwick, 2010) depend on visibility as a means of increasing social and economic gain. Hashtags are a potent resource within this system for promoting the visibility of a Twitter update (and, by implication, the update’s author). This study analyses the frequency, types and grammatical context of hashtags which occurred in a dataset of approximately 92,000 tweets, taken from 100 publically available Twitter accounts, comparing the discourse styles of corporations, celebrity practitioners and ‘ordinary’ Twitter members. The results suggest that practices of self-branding and micro-celebrity operate on a continuum which reflects and reinforces the social and economic hierarchies which exist in offline contexts. Despite claims that hashtags are ‘conversational’, this study suggests that participatory culture in Twitter is not evenly distributed, and that the discourse of celebrity practitioners and corporations exhibits the synthetic personalization (Fairclough, 1989) typical of mainstream media forms of broadcast talk.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1750481312437441
ISSN: 1750-4813
eISSN: 1750-4821
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © The Author(s) 2012. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of English

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