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Thu, May 27



[Webinar] Online Aggression: A discourse-analytic approach

Carmen Lee, Department of English, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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Time & Location

May 27, 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM


About the Event

Online aggression is a problem of increasing concern in the digital age. To date, there is no consensus as to what precisely constitutes online aggression, as it is a highly complex issue subject to a range of motives, methods, and interpretations. However, what we do know is that aggressive behavior online is primarily enacted and sustained through language and discourse, such as posts on discussion forums and reactive comments in social media. Language-based research on online aggression is extremely limited. This talk aims to engage with recent arguments in linguistic research that conceptualize hate speech as recontextualized discursive practice (Baider, 2020; Lee, 2020, 2021). I first review the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of language aggression drawing on insights from pragmatics and discourse analysis, focusing on research on trolling, hate speech, and doxxing. I then discuss illustrative examples from my recent work on covert hate speech online, that is, hate speech that does not contain immediately offensive language, but is still perceived as harmful because of the use of coded language and discursive strategies (Assimakopoulos et al., 2017; Baider, 2020). The talk concludes by exploring the insights that a discourse-oriented approach to online aggression can offer to media literacy education.

Carmen Lee is Associate Professor and Director of the MA in Applied English Linguistics programme in the Department of English at Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also Associate Editor of the journal Discourse, Context & Media, and co-editor of the Routledge Language and Digital Media book series. Her research on digital discourse has been concerned with the relationship between people’s online practices and their everyday lived experiences, as well as the impact of digital discourse on social practices. Her major publications include Language Online (2013, Routledge, with D. Barton) and Multilingualism Online (2017, Routledge). Recently, she is doing research on aggressive discourses such as hate speech and doxxing online.

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