Journal Article


‘Everyday talk’ about working-from-home : how the affordances of Twitter enable ambient affiliation but constrain political talk

Abstract

How do the affordances of microblogging platforms, such as visibility to imagined audiences, shape the nature of ‘everyday talk’? Drawing on a qualitative study of tweets posted during the COVID-19 pandemic and containing the acronym WFH (working-from-home), we draw on Habermasian theorisation of deliberative democratic systems to show how Twitter (X) can act as a third space in which everyday talk about socio-political issues emerges alongside relational talk seeking ambient affiliation. Our analysis shows that tweets expressing already-established political positions that are amenable to reductive symbolism—using memes, images and shorthand stories—gain ‘likes’ and are amplified on Twitter. However, we argue that the desire for ambient affiliation combined with the imperative of reductive symbolism has a constraining effect on public debate, by encouraging the reproduction of established political tropes at the expense of ideas that are novel, controversial or require more complex exposition.

Attached files

Authors

Handley, Karen
Beck, Shelley

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School

Dates

Year of publication: [in press]
Date of RADAR deposit: 2024-05-22


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Related resources

This RADAR resource is Identical to ‘Everyday talk’ about working-from-home: How the affordances of Twitter enable ambient affiliation but constrain political talk

Details

  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 234