Textual Negotiation of Online Identities

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Philologia

Textual Negotiation of Online Identities 

Special Issue 4/2022  

Studia Universitatis Babeș-BolyaiPhilologia  


Guest Editors:  

Dr. Diana Cotrău, diana.cotrau@ubbcluj.ro;Dr. Alexandra Cotoc, alexandra.cotoc@ubbcluj.ro 

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca 



Communicating via, generically speaking, computers has lately come to represent a routine, ritual and, arguably, necessary activity in the modern age on both personal and professional levels. Under the umbrella term known as computer-mediated communication, multimodal par excellence,several sociocultural acts are performed. From among them scholars have been particularly interested in the textual (text, here, in its broader meaning of language, discourse and semiotic architecture) process of negotiating individual or group identities, be they situated or permanent, on the fixed-fluid spectrum (Danet and Herring, 2007; Jenkins 2014; Turkle, 1997; Van Dijk, J. 2006, West & Zimmerman, 2008). Whether a matter of establishing and regulating interpersonal relations (Baym, 2005), or of forming communities of practice, prompted by mutual goals and interests, in turn grounded in ideological affiliations and reciprocity, the construction of identities on social network sites is a subtle, finely calibrated, liminal process.  

This paradigm is congenial to a cultural sociolinguistic approach, with a focus on the manner in whichusers, the multiliterateactors of a participatory culture, relate to the other. The discursive membership of a medium displaying engaged sociocultural dynamicsin the age of globalization, by a critical mass of people, is undeniably aphenomenon. Empirical and theoretical studies are trying to keep pace with the radical and accelerated shifts triggered by the regular use of online sites. Thus, today, thefocus has become the way in which, by and large, group identities become hybrid, nebulous, fluid, tribal, particularly under the impact of integrated digital actions, inside increasingly ideologized virtual communities. Within the given context, social network sites can be scrutinizedas generators of echo-chambers, affording the expression of foregrounded affiliations developed and reinforced by certain patterns of discourse. Through technology affordances, they enable individuals to explore, exercise and express their identity repertoires in a threefold capacity: online content users, consumers and producers. Consequently, it is natural thatall ofthese aspects should lend themselves to a multidisciplinary approach thatmust includeby necessity elements of semantics, pragmatics, semiotics and social psychology.  

This issue is meant as a collection of papers falling under the joint or specific scientific approaches of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, applied linguistics, multilingual and intercultural communication, or language policies, etc. From among the textual topics and phenomena of phatic or online communication today, marked by lingua-cultural (super)diversity, multiliteracy, hyperconnectivity, we suggest the tackling of the following: 

  • building self- and group identity  

  • defining and representing the other  

  • social and political activism and echo chambers 

  • normativity in online communication 

  • online multilingualism and plurilingualism  

  • convivialityand phatic communication 

  • interculturaland multicultural aspects  

  • ideologies and polarization   

  • phaticcommunication vs. communion  

  • digital limits, constraints and affordances 

  • multimodal expression of emotion and affectivity 

  • the private-public divide 

  • politeness, solidarity and social distance 

  • online communication in pandemic times 


Indicative References 

Antaki, Charles and Sue Widdicombe (ed.) 2008.  Identities in Talk. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications Ltd 

Baym, Nancy. 2015. Personal Connections in the Digital Age. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press 

Crystal, David. 2011. Internet Linguistics: A Student Guide. London and New York: Routledge. 

Danet, Brenda, Herring, Susan C. 2007. The Multilingual Internet. Language, Culture, and Communication Online. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press 

Jenkins, Richard. 2014. Social Identity. 4th ed. London & New York: Routledge 

McCulloch, Gretchen. 2019. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. New York: Riverhead Books. 

Papacharissi, Z. (ed.) 2011. Networked Self. Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites. New York and London: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group 

Tannen, Deborah, Trester, Anna Marie. 2008. Discourse 2.0. Language and New Media. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press 

Turkle, Sherry. 1997. Life on the screen: identity in the internet age. New York: Touchstone 

Urbanski, Heather. 2010. Writing and the Digital Generation. Essays on the New Media Rhetoric. Jefferson, North Carolina, London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers 

Van Dijk, J. 2006. The Network Society. Social Aspects of New Media. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE Publications Ltd. 





1 May 2022–proposal submission deadline (200-word abstract, 7 keywords, 5 theoretical references, 150-word author’s bio-note) 

15 May 2022– notification about acceptance 

1August 2022 – submission of full papers.(Instructions for formatting rules and style sheets can be found on the journal webpage) 


Please send your abstracts and papers to the entire list of email addresses below: