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“You had me there. Right up to the bit you were racist”: A computer mediated discourse analysis of hate and counter speech in social media

Roach, Luke 2021. “You had me there. Right up to the bit you were racist”: A computer mediated discourse analysis of hate and counter speech in social media. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis presents a computer mediated discourse analysis of online hate and counter speech found on social media. Social media and the ubiquitous connectivity of digital networks pervade day to day life in a way which allows near constant interaction and communication, and these technological developments coupled with world-wide socio-political transformations has led to a focus in popular debate and academic research on the production of hate speech and its governance. Of chief interest to this research is counter speech, a response to hate speech often hailed for its universality, its ease of use and its avoidance of potentially contentious censorship. While both kinds of speech are the focus of much academic research, there remains a gap in the qualitative space that focusses on the form and function of these speech acts - a gap which this thesis attends to. This thesis employs three distinct but complementary discourse analytic traditions to investigate hate and counter speech to understand how the aims of these kinds of speech are achieved in situ by online social media users. By looking at the use of identity, (im)politeness, and generic intertextuality in naturally occurring instances of hate and counter speech, this analysis finds specific recurrent discursive techniques that are deployed by speakers to achieve their goals. This thesis argues that in understanding their features and styles, hate and counter speech are identifiable as genres of speech in themselves. Users employ these genres online, and manipulate them through identity work, humour, politeness and impoliteness, in an attempt to produce effective hate and counter speech to achieve their communicative aims.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2022
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 02:24

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