Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Dr. E. R. Barrett

Abstract

Social media has become a large part of today’s pop culture and keeping up with what is going on not only in our social circles, but around the world. It has given many a platform to unite their causes, build fandoms, and share their commentary with the world. A tool in helping group posts together or give commentary on a thought is the hashtag. In this paper I explore the evaluative roles of hashtags in social media discourse, specifically on Twitter. I use a sample of randomly selected tweets from the Twitter API stream I collected and compiled myself. I collected a total of 200,000 tweets and filtered out Re-tweets. Looking at each individual hashtag I sorted them into the categories outlined by the Appraisal Theory proposed by Martin and White (Martin & White, 2005). I explore the types of evaluation expressed in hashtags, the relationships between evaluative hashtags and how users negotiate evaluations using meme hashtags.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2018.047

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