AbstractThis article illustrates how, in a Web 2.0 environment, narrative ways of knowing circulate and disseminate indexical value associated with performances of accent. We compare the information-storing and -sharing functions of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, making an analogy between these two conceptualizations of the Internet and Jerome Bruner’s two different modes of knowing in his (1986) book Actual minds, possible worlds: logico-scientific and narrative. Just as analyses of Web 2.0 discourse highlight collaborative construction, dissemination, and uptake of information, analysis of narrative illuminates the accrual of sociocultural meaning in collaboratively constructed stories. We use discourse and narrative analytic methods to investigate the social indexicality of “accent” in a corpus of Philadelphia Accent Challenge YouTube videos (and the associated comment sections), and we illustrate how indexical value accrues via the snowballing of reflexive metacommentary in the form of narratives about these accent performances. We argue that discourse in Web 2.0 affords narrative ways of recirculating certain emblematic features of accent. This perspective on analyzing YouTube video-based accent data illuminates the value of YouTube accent performances as a source of linguistic anthropological and narrative insight, and narrative modes of knowing as a means of circulating language ideological discourse via Internet-based participatory culture.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 26, 2018
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