Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Cramer

Abstract

Among various fan sites dedicated to pop stars, GagaDaily is one prominent online collective that centers around Lady Gaga. This study is a piece of ethnographic research focused on two claims – GagaDaily constitutes a Community of Practice (Eckert, 2006) in an online setting, and the regular use of humor by users fulfills social and pragmatic roles in the discourse. Communicative phenomena (both textual and graphic) that characterize the linguistic repertoire of GagaDaily members were catalogued from the first 100 pages of one thread within the forums. These data were grouped into categories corresponding to different dimensions of language use as well as media/literary devices. Alongside a quantitative analysis of various tokens and types of data, a qualitative examination of selected excerpts from the sample confirm the veracity of the two main claims. When analyzed with regard to Wenger’s definition of a Community of Practice (Wenger, 2009), GagaDaily meets all three of his requirements. Likewise, the analysis of humor reveal that GagaDaily users regularly engage in the first dichotomy of the tactics of intersubjectivity, adequation and distinction (Bucholtz & Hall, 2004) and incorporate GIF images in their humor to express their alignment with stance objects (DuBois, 2007) and other members.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2018.198

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