The development of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) has been one of the most groundbreaking phenomena in the field of computer-mediated communication (CMC) over the past two decades. SNSs are now offering unprecedented opportunities to produce and share user-generated content (UGC), and negotiate meaning through social tagging practices. The 140-character limitation of Twitter has triggered a range of innovative “user-driven processes” through which the #hashtag symbol is being appropriated beyond its original purpose of “collect[ing] related messages in an easily accessible space” (Bruns 2012: 4). Thus, “the linguistic innovation seen in hashtagging is both a product of the reduced affordances of the character-constrained mode” and part of the process of creating “new kinds of meaning making with language” (Zappavigna 2015: 16). In this light, the present paper examines one peculiar kind of meaning making which takes place in the emerging culture of public health hashtagging on Twitter. While ordinary conversational exchanges have been the main object of study in the fields of CMC, linguistics and discourse analysis for some time now, the emerging practice of “organising ad hoc discussion communities” (Bruns & Burgess 2015: 14) has recently started to evoke some interest in the use of the hashtag. There is still, however, a lack of linguistic research on the unique kind of meaning making allowed by hashtagging practices in discipline-specific communities created for special purposes. A case in point is that of public health communities, which are organised in Twitter to promote health communication campaigns (Shi et al. 2016). The functional uses of the hashtag within these discussion communities have so far been largely under-researched (Donelle & Booth 2012), despite they are gaining momentum. Accordingly, the present paper attempts to make a contribution to filling this void by investigating how the hashtag may (re)shape meanings in public health campaigns. The peculiarity of these campaigns is determined by the simultaneous combination of the character-constrained mode of Twitter and the adoption of the conventional “organized set of communication activities” (Atkin & Rice 2012: 3), which ensures the effectiveness of health promotion.

Hashtagging for Health Promotion: Constructing Meaning as an #AntibioticGuardian

PLASTINA, ANNA FRANCA
2018-01-01

Abstract

The development of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) has been one of the most groundbreaking phenomena in the field of computer-mediated communication (CMC) over the past two decades. SNSs are now offering unprecedented opportunities to produce and share user-generated content (UGC), and negotiate meaning through social tagging practices. The 140-character limitation of Twitter has triggered a range of innovative “user-driven processes” through which the #hashtag symbol is being appropriated beyond its original purpose of “collect[ing] related messages in an easily accessible space” (Bruns 2012: 4). Thus, “the linguistic innovation seen in hashtagging is both a product of the reduced affordances of the character-constrained mode” and part of the process of creating “new kinds of meaning making with language” (Zappavigna 2015: 16). In this light, the present paper examines one peculiar kind of meaning making which takes place in the emerging culture of public health hashtagging on Twitter. While ordinary conversational exchanges have been the main object of study in the fields of CMC, linguistics and discourse analysis for some time now, the emerging practice of “organising ad hoc discussion communities” (Bruns & Burgess 2015: 14) has recently started to evoke some interest in the use of the hashtag. There is still, however, a lack of linguistic research on the unique kind of meaning making allowed by hashtagging practices in discipline-specific communities created for special purposes. A case in point is that of public health communities, which are organised in Twitter to promote health communication campaigns (Shi et al. 2016). The functional uses of the hashtag within these discussion communities have so far been largely under-researched (Donelle & Booth 2012), despite they are gaining momentum. Accordingly, the present paper attempts to make a contribution to filling this void by investigating how the hashtag may (re)shape meanings in public health campaigns. The peculiarity of these campaigns is determined by the simultaneous combination of the character-constrained mode of Twitter and the adoption of the conventional “organized set of communication activities” (Atkin & Rice 2012: 3), which ensures the effectiveness of health promotion.
LSP, Twitter discourse, hashtagging as social practice, a metafunctional approach to discourse (SFL), health campaigning
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/272146
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