Facebook, in just a few years, has become one of the central tools people use to communicate with each other in everyday life. However, the perceived freedom of action on the site and the actual processes that are permitted in Facebook's set up don't always match up: in this book this gap is examined.
This book identifies the interrelations between user text actions and the software environment framing them. It takes a critical perspective on Facebook and develops a model that grants methodological access to complex interlaced practices incorporating media, text and literacies.
It shows Facebook users employing idiosyncratic and Facebook-specific literacy practices, and gives weight to the larger hypothesis of the software service as an ideological setting designed to calculate and standardize human behaviour. Specifically, the book examines text action and automation within Facebook to determine how the software service intervenes in the communicative flow between/among profile owners and profile recipients. This is cutting edge work and of huge importance to modern fields of discourse analysis and computer-mediated communication.
“At last an innovative contribution that critically evaluates the interplay between software and user interaction on social network sites. Eisenlauer’s Critical Hypertext Analysis is admirably suited to unmask Facebook as an ideological tool in the digital age. The analysis reveals convincingly that Facebook software heavily imposes on the communicative practices of its users, depriving them of basic authorial rights in the generation and reception of text, pictures and meaning. A must-read for all those interested in how Facebook affects your life. Highly recommended!” – Wolfram Bublitz, Professor of English Linguistics, Universität Augsburg, Germany,
“In this highly original work, Volker Eisenlauer develops an insightful Critical Hypertext Analysis, based on a thorough examination of existing concepts and their revised definitions in linguistics and related fields. He offers a novel type of analysis of Facebook’s users’ communicative text actions that are conditioned by the technological and ideological characteristics of this software service. With this book, Eisenlauer lays a new foundation for critically-oriented analyses of users’ communicative action and discursive identity construction in the social media. In addition, this book adds a new perspective to the study of literacy practices in technological environments.” – Marjut Johansson, Professor of French Studies, University of Turku, Finland,
“Eisenlauer's book is a welcome addition to the growing field of new media linguistic research. It provides a fascinating and innovative account of the discourse practices adopted by users in one of the hallmark online software services of our time, Facebook, for researchers and students in discourse analysis, text linguistics, new media studies and beyond.” – Michael S Boyd, Lecturer in English, Roma Tre University, Italy,