Power relations in social media discourse: Dialogization and monologization on corporate Facebook pages

Ella Lillqvist*, Leena Louhiala-Salminen, Anne Kankaanranta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media have inspired optimistic claims of empowerment of consumers vis-à-vis corporations; however, an ongoing commercialization of online contexts may compromise such equalization. This study takes a critical discourse studies perspective and contributes to a nuanced understanding of discursive power relations between companies and consumers on social media by analyzing the possibilities that corporate Facebook pages provide for consumer participation and criticism and for corporate manipulation of discourse. To do this, the study draws from Bakhtin's view of dialogue to shed light on contextual and discoursal features which operate to either promote or silence voices. We show how the features of Facebook provide methods for "monologization" making the discourse appear participative while still controlling which voices are heard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68–76
JournalDISCOURSE, CONTEXT AND MEDIA
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Corporate communication
  • Critical discourse studies
  • Dialogue
  • Facebook
  • Online media
  • Power

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