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Chapter (in Edited Book) ()

Using Linguistic Ethnography to Study Techno-cultural Eliteness of Social Media Users

Citation
Beyl J & Lin YW (2015) Using Linguistic Ethnography to Study Techno-cultural Eliteness of Social Media Users. In: Zeller F, Ponte C, O'Neill B (ed.). Revitalising Audiences: Innovations in European Audience Research. Routledge Studies in European Communication Research and Education, 5, London: Routledge, pp. 106-122.

Abstract
First paragraph: In this chapter, we offer a methodological framework for an in-depth study on ‘techno elite’ audiences. Elite research usually looks into the relationships between those who rule and those who are ruled, the social characteristics of those who exercise power, the relations between elites and society, elite recruitment and elite circulation (cf. Aron, 1950a, 1950b; Putnam, 1976). A social analysis of elites in an era profoundly shaped by digital technologies is timely and vital to update existing understanding of power relationships and societal structures in relation to media content production and consumption. Traditionally, research methodology for elite studies is based on static social categories fixated in sectors, organizations and positions. As argued by many scholars in elite, intellectual, and class studies, it is difficult to define who the elites are given the fuzziness and overloaded meanings of the term and the increasingly convergent media industries. The notion of “elites”, argued Kidd and Nicholls (1998), just like those of “middle class” or “intellectuals”, needs to evolve from a “primitive sense of classification, that is of an attempt to position individuals within a static social hierarchy, to one in which it signifies complex social characteristics and dynamic social relationships” (p.xvii). That said, elite cannot be understood (solely) “as an objective phenomenon, measurable in terms of income or occupation or some other clearly definable index”; instead, and perhaps more practically, it should be understood as “one with a subjective component – with consciousness, ideology and language” (ibid.). It is precisely in this latter realm that we want to investigate ‘techno elite audience’ from a linguistic ethnographic perspective, because a combination of linguistic and ethnographic approaches helps understand how ‘eliteness’ of both cultural producers and their audiences is demonstrated, expressed, constructed and situated.

StatusPublished
EditorZeller F, Ponte C, O'Neill B
AuthorsBeyl Joke, Lin Y W
Title of seriesRoutledge Studies in European Communication Research and Education
Number in series5
Publication date2015
URLhttps://www.routledge.com/…ok/9781138787377
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN 9781138787377
eISBN 9781315762821
LanguageEnglish
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