Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Diana D. Weber

Abstract

At this point, the majority of computer mediated communication (CMC) studies have employed a variation analysis approach, quantitatively describing language on the Internet and comparing CMC to speech and writing. While these studies have provided valuable information about CMC, they have also left many gaps, especially related to social and ideological issues such as language use.

This study responds to the need for more qualitative studies of language on the Internet by examining one form of CMC: education blogs. The study analyzes a selection of posts from five blogs published between March 21, 2012 and March 28, 2013. These five blogs were chosen from an initial list of 307 blogs that was compiled from both education blog reference lists and snowball sampling from blogrolls. Ideological discourse features of the blogs, specifically James Paul Gee's concepts of situated meaning, intertextuality, social languages, and Big "D" Discourses, are the focus of the study.

Following this analysis, several recent social media tools are discussed, focusing on the implications these technologies have for literacy practices. Questions exploring how Discourse use might be impacted by these new types of social media are also introduced, as are numerous possibilities for future research.

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