This particular powerpoint was made by Ray Blythe and myself as the presentation for our ANP 420 online communication project. In order to understand the role of online communication in constructing each online community, we decided to focus on subculture groups on the platform Reddit. Eventually we decided to choose two different subreddits and conduct a sort of “online ethnography” – Ray chose the Overwatch subreddit while I chose the JJBA one.
Drawing Labov’s Speech Community theory and Bucholtz’s Practice Theory, together with Bailey’s theory on the role of language in constructing community identity, we were able to identify some unique characteristics of each community’s “new language” and their practice of code-switching. As for my analysis, I found out that the members of JJBA subreddit would often use memes/JoJo References (JJR) – a new way of communication derived from the manga series – mostly to highlight their identities as members of JJBA fanbase. However, the particular usages of JJR vary greatly and individually, as many of the new-comers would use JJR during their online communication more often and arbitrarily, and more likely to use it on posts that irrelevant to JJBA (as our case study “Iggy Incident” indicates), which would often become annoying and leave bad impressions or create stereotypes for the whole JJBA community.
To counter this behavior of arbitrarily using memes/JJRs, my analysis indicates that the regulation from the Reddit moderators do help a lot improving the situation and organizing the whole subreddit. For instance, most of the memes, JJRs, spoilers, and silly talks can only be post on the section of Weekly Dorjaan Thread, which according to many of the subreddit members, are really helpful to keep the whole community organized and inclusive in a way.ANP Online Communication