Social media and everyday language use among Copenhagen youth

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning


The dissertation concerns the role of social media in young peoples’ everyday lives and it addresses how social media can be approached from a sociolinguistic and ethnographic perspective. My research is driven by an interest in how the complexity and mobility of linguistic and social resources across online and offline contexts make sense to the adolescents I study. As a part of a collaborative project I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork among a group of adolescents at a Copenhagen grade school and during their leisure time activities over a period of three years. At the same time I carried out online ethnography by following the adolescents’ activities on Facebook.
In the dissertation I pursue the topics of social media and sociolinguistic normativity and social media, semiotic resources and popular culture. Regarding the first thematic direction I find that social network sites are not free or unregulated orthographic spaces as depicted in public discourses on youth and social media, that linguistic and social normativity is polycentrically organized and that spoken and written discourse should not be separated in accounts of enregisterment in contemporary societies. Regarding the second theme I conclude that popular cultural flows are a part of globalization and that adolescents’ appropriation of such flows though social media are not limited to social media practices. This points towards the understanding that young peoples’ engagement with popular culture on social media cannot be fully understood unless we also follow the trajectories of the flows in other everyday practices as well. I also conclude that the examination
of popular culture further provides a window onto investigating broader social and linguistic practices and offers a basis for studying new layers of cultural diversity in contemporary societies.
The overall methodological contribution of the dissertation is that the study of social and linguistic practice in social media environments must be investigated as connected to other aspects of peoples’ everyday lives and as an inseparable part of young people’s sociolinguistic reality.
ForlagDet Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet
Antal sider193
StatusUdgivet - 2014

Note vedr. afhandling

Forsvaret 22. august 2014

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