SoMeFamily - Language and Social Media in the Family
Social media is an integral part of contemporary everyday life and a central concern for educators and family advisers. Yet, very little is known about how social media communication functions within families or about the impact on family life of the everyday status of digital communication across different generations.
With a linguistic ethnographic approach this project addresses which communicative functions social media serve among different family members in ten families selected among a cohort of adolescents in two high school classes. By a combined analytical focus on 1) digital communication cultures; 2) identity formations; 3) social relations and; 4) prevalent media and family ideologies it further investigates how social media influence family socialization in these families.
By doing so the project contributes crucial new knowledge to research fields of media studies and family socialization and significantly nuances existing understandings of social media and family life.
SoMeFamily addresses the question:
Which functions does social media communication serve among different family members and how do social media influence family socialization?
With a combined focus on social media and family socialization and a linguistic ethnographic approach, the project contributes crucial new knowledge to both research fields and significantly nuances existing understandings of social media and family life.
Social media is an integral part of contemporary everyday life and a central concern for educators and family advisers. Yet, very little is known about how social media communication functions within families or about the impact on family life of the everyday status of digital communication across different generations. To study this we look into
- The digital communication cultures in the family
- the affordances (and limitations) that social media provides for identity work and social categorization in the family
- how social media does not only constitute a threat to family cohesion, but how online interaction also strengthen family relations and family networks.
- the ideologies of media use and family life as they occur in family members narratives and in the public debate.
It is a methodologically challenge to study all of these aspects. It is made possible through a multi-sited research design involving linguistic ethnography and interaction analysis of linguistic and semiotic data collected across online and offline everyday situations.
The project is based on Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics (NorS)
Andreas Candefors Stæhr is PI (principal investigator) of SoMeFamily and associate professor at Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen.
His research focusses on everyday languaging and social media with a particular focus on linguistic normativity, sociolinguistic reflexivity and everyday language use across online and offline contexts. His research on SoMeFamily focusses on digital communication cultures in the family – that is, the ways in which different family members associate different ways of speaking and writing with specific values, norms and social practices. Such communication cultures are studied through analysis of interview data and by carrying out interaction analysis of family members’ online and offline communicative practices.
Astrid Ag is a postdoctoral researcher at The Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics (NorS).
She holds a Master of Arts in Danish and Ethnology and a PhD in Sociolinguistics. She pursued her interest in language and society in her recent research in which she studied the linguistic and cultural practices among ethnic minority youth in school and family settings. In particular, she focused on the relation between the participants’ local language practices and broader societal discourses and looked into if and how the youngsters and their families reacted towards these discourses. In the SoMeFamily project, her research once again centers on the linguistic everyday life of families. She examines the way social relations in families are being negotiated in on- and offline interactions and she looks at the role of social media communications in family socialization practices.
Thomas Rørbeck Nørreby is a postdoctoral researcher at The Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics.
His research investigates the dynamic interplay between situated language use among children and youth and wider societal processes and developments. In his more recent work, he pays special attention to institutional inequality and to examining the relations between contemporary ethno-cultural diversity, multilingualism and social stratification. In the SoMeFamily project, his subproject involves a focus on social cohesion. The subproject sets out to investigate how different family members´ constructed identities (and their associated values) link up with family life and family roles as well as the role social media play in this respect.
Janus Spindler Møller is associate professor at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics (NorS) at the University of Copenhagen.
He earned his ph.d. in 2009 with a thesis on longitudinal development of polylingual practices. His main fields of interest are languaging, interactional sociolinguistics, polylingualism, linguistic ethnography and language ideology. In connection to his studies within these areas, he recently developed an interest in social media interaction viewed from the perspective of the users. Within the SoMeFamily project Janus Spindler Møller especially focus on conflicts unfolding on social media platforms within peer groups and across generations. Apart from being a member of the SoMeFamily team, he is the current leader of The Everyday Languaging project (language use and language ideologies among students in a Copenhagen elementary school).
Lian Malai Madsen is associate professor of the psychology of language at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics.
Her research includes the interactional- sociolinguistic and ethnographic analysis of linguistic practices among adolescents in school and leisure contexts, with specific attention to issues of social categorization and societal inequalities. Her research contribution to the SoMeFamily project focuses on existing and prevalent ideas about social media and family life and compares the family and media ideologies among the participants - as they are expressed and enacted in everyday communication - with public discourses about social media and family life.
Marianne Haugaard Hansen is a master student in linguistics at University of Copenhagen and is a student assistant at the SoMeFamily-project.
Marianne has primarily been working with data collection of both on- and offline data for the project, and the registration and coding of data.
Johannes Højgaard Nielsen is a MA student in The Psychology of Language at Copenhagen University and a student assistant on the SoMeFamily-project.
Johannes has primarily worked with the collection, registration and coding of on- and offline data, but is also writing his thesis alongside working on the project. The thesis is engaged in how first-year high school students use distinct linguistic stylizations in combination with other multimodal modes of expression and resources to navigate in and take a stand on the sociocultural differences and similarities represented by their class community. The thesis is particularly engaged in what role social media plays in such style constructions and performances.
The project’s advisory board reflects SoMeFamily’s interdisciplinary perspectives. It consists of national and international experts within the fields of sociolinguistics of social media, linguistic ethnography and media studies.
The advisory board is:
- Professor Jannis Androutsopoulos (University of Hamburg)
- Professor Sirpa Leppänen (University of Jyväskylä)
- Associate professor Piia Varis (University of Tilburg)
- Associate professor Jürgen Jaspers (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
- Associate professor Stine Lomborg (University of Copenhagen, MEF)
See programme for the Advisory Board Meeting, 14-15 November 2019 (pdf)