On Thursday 28 April 2022, 9.30-11.30, Prof. Sam Bennett will give a lecture on 'Doing Qualitative (Discourse) Analysis on Twitter'. More info below!
Since its launch, Twitter has quickly become ‘a mainstay of national and transnational public spheres’ (Bennett, 2019). The platform is characterised by its rapid, temporal nature and intertextuality (Zappavigna 2012) and its use by elite public sphere actors as an agenda setting device (Adi, Erickson, and Lilleker 2014). However, because of this role as an ‘elite’ platform, Twitter discourses should not be taken as representative of wider populations and public discourses and researchers must be clear that findings should not be extrapolated to society as a whole. Regardless of this Twitter is a very fruitful source of qualitative data. In this lecture, I propose a framework for analysing Twitter discourses that takes into account its multimodal nature and its role as a space for digital political communication. I first explain the theoretical and methodological issues that researchers need to consider when working with data from Twitter. I then propose a framework that understands tweets as artefacts, and that each mode of communication in a tweet offers different affordances and thus meaning-making potential (Kress 2010).
Samuel Bennett is Assistant Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. His research centres around discursive constructions of migrant integration, (non)belonging and exclusion, populist politics, and online communication, with a focus on UK political actors. He is currently writing a book on myths, colonialism and current debates about belonging and national values. He is the author of Constructions of Migrant Integration in British Public Discourse (Bloomsbury 2018) as well as a number of journal articles and book chapters on Twitter as space for political discourse production. He is an assistant editor for the Journal of Language and Politics.
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