Frames and metaphors on social media: The conceptual grounding of public action

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


    The role of social media in giving voice to public opinion is impossible to ignore. Increasingly, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are used for the mobilisation of action against public figures, corporations and organisations which have attracted negative public attention. For the social actors suffering this treatment, such actions may have devastating consequences.While previous studies have demonstrated that this mobilisation is in part the result of the real-time nature of social media, which allows for ‘rapid mass self-communication’ (Van der Meer & Verhoeven 2013) and the instant spreading of coherent frames across diverse groups of publics, the underlying conceptual dimension of these frames has only been studied to a limited degree, and primarily within crisis communication research (Ngai et al. 2015; Van der Meer et al. 2014). However, studying the conceptual grounding may offer additional and valuable explanations for the salience of particular frames and their ability to inspire collective action across different groups of publics. A previous, small-scale study indicates, for instance, that when commonly held notions of right and wrong are challenged, this leads to the establishment of strong and coherent frames that evoke socially and culturally embedded norms, and which not only have the purpose of condemning the culprit and his actions but also will unite publics in their call for corrective action (Author 2015). This paper reports on an explorative study that investigates the conceptual grounding of frames in instances of organisational and personal action that is deemed reproachful on social media. By examining a corpus of entries posted on Facebook in connection with two major organisational crises, the study confirms previous findings and demonstrates that the strength of frames may result from the evocation and foregrounding of basic social norms and values shared across public groups, which are otherwise considered to have different outlooks and perceptions.The theoretical foundation of the analysis is framing (Fillmore 1982; Hallahan 1999) combined with social media research (Liu 2010; Liu et al. 2011; Van der Meer & Verhoeven 2013), which provides the analyst with tools for investigating the conceptual and linguistic levels of communication on social media. Being concerned with the cognitive information processing of the receivers of text, framing can be instantiated through a number of lexical items, including metaphor (e.g. Lakoff and Johnson [1980]2003; Kövecses 2015). Due to its grounding in a bodily, situational, and discourse context as well as its richness in expression, metaphor is particularly relevant to this study and will receive special attention in the investigation of frames.
    Publikationsdato1 feb. 2017
    StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 2017
    BegivenhedThe 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference - University of Tartu, Tartu, Estland
    Varighed: 10 jul. 201714 jul. 2017
    Konferencens nummer: 14


    KonferenceThe 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference
    LokationUniversity of Tartu


    • social media
    • conceptual grounding
    • public action
    • metaphor
    • Explorative search


    Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Frames and metaphors on social media: The conceptual grounding of public action'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.