Social Capital Bridging through Sociopolitical and Religious Referencing in Computer Mediated Communication. A Study Case of a Mediated Local Drama

Diana Cotrău, Alexandra Cotoc

Abstract


The paper takes a Critical Discourse Analysis angle and joins Social Media Studies and Religious Studies perspectives of Computer Mediated Communication material to examine such strategies of online interpersonal communication as may foster civic solidarity on social networks sites over local incidents with national and international media coverage. Computer mediated discourse is often underpinned by ideological antagonism especially when tackling social, political, cultural and even religious issues. Our topic choice was occasioned by an infelicitous episode – afire in a local venue hosting a rock concert that resulted in a high number of casualties and fatalities. The tragic episode triggered some polarized and highly opinionated positioning in the social media, both independent of and/or in retaliation to media sourced accounts and personal posts. We analyzed qualitatively authentic CMC material as well as edited media inputs in order to establish if and how the networked, yet generationally diverse, public achieve symbolic solidarity through reactive and correlated digi-participation where sociocultural  identities become tangent to such ecclesiastic issues as became salient and were up-cycled (by some) in the local political conjecture

Keywords


online interpersonal communication, ideological affiliation, social network sites, reactive digi-participation, social capital bridging, networked public, sociocultural identities, religious positioning.

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