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Abstract: Internet Paralanguages (masterclass)

Internet Paralanguages: Internet-native communication forms and cultural power

As new platforms and technologies emerge, young people are inventing innovative ways to express ideas and communicate with their peers using mixed media on the internet. Most prominently, internet paralanguages that draw on non-lexical visual cultures are flourishing in mainstream, subcultural, and countercultural internet communities. They have been used to communicative sensitive information across networks under the radar of authoritarian censors during global social movements, and situated to demonstrate different coded meanings for different audiences by prominent internet users such as Influencers. In this Masterclass, participants will explore some of these internet paralanguages, and draw from their personal experiences of these communicative symbols. Through brief case studies, the Masterclass will demonstrate how we can systematically track and understand the emergence of internet paralanguages through ethnographic methods. Participants will be invited to apply the methodologies on their chosen case study for sharing with the class in short flash lectures.


For masterclass: Abidin, Crystal. 2018. “Internet Paralanguages: Internet-native communication forms and cultural power.” Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. May 10, 2018.

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