Language consciousness in online communication: A psycholinguistic analysis of the protest content in social media

Abstract: 

This article analyzes web content and language consciousness of Vkontakte users in a politically charged situation. We raise the following research questions: What are the clusters of protest content in the Russian-speaking segment of social networks? What is the specific nature of protest content? What speech and other means create the specifics of protest content? What features of linguistic consciousness allow revealing protest content?

The study is based on the database of the social network VKontakte (n 15 021, the date of unloading - March 26, 2017).

A psycholinguistic analysis of content is combined with the cross-disciplinary approach to the data analysis. The integrated nature of online communication requires a multilevel and diverse algorithm of the analysis, which is reflected in modern research. In the present study, we conduct a formal analysis in two stages (the use of quantitative and qualitative methods).

Our analysis of language consciousness of the Russian-speaking segment users of social networks in a politically unstable situation makes it possible to identify three clusters, making up the actors of the protest content. We also analyze their specifics to determine what speech, rhetorical and communication tools are used to form the content of the protest movement, and describe certain features of actors’ language consciousness manifested in this discourse.

Key words: 

language consciousness, social networks, media, Vkontakte, online communication.

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