Humour in microblogging: Exploiting linguistic humour strategies for identity construction in two Facebook focus groups

Miriam A. Locher, Brook Bolander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Research within interpersonal pragmatics highlights the relational aspect of language in use (Locher and Graham 2010). While this focus has especially been dealt with in politeness research, it can also be fruitfully combined with the study of identity construction through language (see Locher 2008). he use of humour is such a means of identity construction since showing a sense of humour in interaction is valued in many contexts. his chapter reports on a project on Facebook status updates (see Bolander and Locher 2010; Locher and Bolander 2014). It thus provides insights into identity construction in an interactive Web 2.0 social network site, where the participation framework is such that status updates are written in a semi-public environment in front of an audience of ratiied Facebook friends, who can decide to move from the role of overhearer/eavesdropper to participating actively. We conducted a qualitative discourse analytic study of how humour is used in status updates by participants of two Facebook focus groups. These humorous acts of microblogging (Zhao and Rosson 2009; Yus 2011; Zappavigna 2012) are contrasted with diferent types of identity construction in the other status updates. While some but not all convey that they have a sense of humour, others also evoke identities in connection with other personality traits, as well as making pastime, work, and relationships claims.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParticipation in Public and Social Media Interactions
EditorsMarta Dynel, Jan Chovanec
Place of PublicationAmsterdam The Netherlands
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789027268945
ISBN (Print)9789027256614
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePragmatics & Beyond New Series
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN (Print)0922-842X

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