Myers, Greg (2010) Stance-taking and public discussion in blogs. Critical Discourse Studies, 7 (4). pp. 263-275. ISSN 1740-5904
Blogs, which can be written and read by anyone with a computer and an internet connection, would seem to expand the possibilities for engagement in public sphere debates. Indeed, blogs are full of the kind of vocabulary that suggests intense discussion. However, a closer look at the way this vocabulary is used in context suggests that the main concern of writers is selfpresentation, positioning themselves in a crowded forum, in what has been called stancetaking. When writers mark their stances, for instance by saying I think, they enact different ways of signalling a relation to others, marking disagreement, enacting surprise, andironicising previous contributions. All these moves are ways of presenting one’s own contribution as distinctive, showing one’s entitlement to a position. In this paper, I use concordance tools to identify strings that are very frequent in a corpus of blogs, relative to a general corpus of written texts, focus on those relatively frequent words that mark stance and analyse these markers in context. I argue that the prominence of stance-taking indicates the priority of individual positioning over collective and deliberative discussion.
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