London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Irony in the Political: Young people’s use of irony in a political text conversation in a net community

Author(s) Andersson, E.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
The net community1 as a public place expresses current society while creating conditions and providing a framework for societal development and young people’s participation, living and understanding of the wider society. Today young people spend much time on the Internet, specifically in the social media2, and everyday political conversations are minimally researched. My research deals with young people’s conversation in net communities and how these conversations look, and the opportunities this creates for the growth of political citizens: What potential relevance may these opportunities have when young people are faced with existentially controversial and vital issues (about sustainable development)? The question for this paper is limited to a small part of this broader context concerning everyday political conversations in the light of irony. According to previous research, irony is a multifaceted and ambiguous phenomenon and the social media offer new expressions for irony. What does this mean for the text conversation? Irony is shown to be, through an initial observation, a rhetorical resource that visualises adversaries and pushes the conversation forward. My intention is, through a rhetorically oriented discourse analysis, to understand irony by identifying different types of irony and discuss possible implications: How does the use of irony look? What are its consequences for the conversation and the growth of political citizens? The theoretical entrance for this leans on the idea of the political. First I will present the concept of irony; secondly, theoretical and methodological inputs; thirdly, a description of the empirical data and how irony is identified; and finally, I present some preliminary results and conclusions. Key words: the political, social media, net community, irony, text conversation, discourse analysis, rhetoric

Back to search results


   Page last updated 09 March 2011