Social media

| July 3, 2016

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Section 1 – The first section expounds the notion of linearity within specific contexts of social media narrative as a significant factor in building communities of resistance and creating solidarity among community members. Analyses of examples of texts from the Egyptian Revolution protest of 2011+ demonstrate how temporal sequences underpin stories through complex references to time that provide meaning and value for readers. Rather than a chronology framed solely by story content, however, temporality is also inferred from the discourse and behavioural contexts in which the process of storytelling is embedded. The Revolution texts show how language used to represent temporal sequences tends to prioritise recency and, in turn, construct a sense of social connection through the illusion of co-presence between narrators and readers.

Section 2 – The second section incorporates elements of linearity, as discussed in section 1, into notions of the ways in which tellership and tellability of social media texts influence production and reception of narrative identity as part of community building processes. Egyptian Revolution stories exhibit and promote options for multiple tellership and co-tellership across related or episodic textual units, thereby expanding readership and increasing opportunities for readers to evaluate and assess stories. Such assessment acts to define in- and out-groups through rhetorical resources used to create involvement between narrators and readers. Analyses of linguistic devices used by Revolution authors demonstrate that positive evaluative assessment by narrative participants reinforces narrative identities and ties of solidarity among in-group members.

Section 3 – The final section extrapolates the discussions in prior chapters of linearity, tellership and tellability to explore the concept of authenticity as textual performances produced by Revolution participants. Such performances draw on both on- and offline contexts to shape narrative interactions, which act to confer status and delineate groups identities. Through narrative choices within social media stories, often presented as personal experiences, Revolution narrative participants created personal and group identities that tended to privilege the status of protesters and disavow narrative sources of Egyptian Government authenticity.

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