Margherita Di Salvo, Caterina Ferrini

The Construction of Subjectivity in the Times of Social Media: Italian Migration and On-Line Communities of Practice

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Sociolinguistics, Identity, Subjectivity, Online Interaction, Code-switching

This paper is part of the theoretical and methodological apparatus of interactional sociolinguistics. We analyse how users of heritage speakers of Italian express their subjectivity and build their identity on three Facebook pages managed by descendants of Italian emigrants in the United States. Our goal is to elaborate on the expression of subjectivity and the interactional construction of personal identities in an interaction mediated by social networks. These users do not seem to rely on Italian for structural reasons, i.e., for the occurrence of a lexical void in English. In the individuals born in the country of immigration, Italian and the Italo-Romance dialects of parents or grandparents qualify as a transmitted heritage, and their use, residual in terms of competence, is attributable to the identificative and evocative value of these languages

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