Yanmiri, Aboki, Afonja: Discursive Construction of Ethnic Others in Nigerian Online Discussion

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Yanmiri, Aboki, Afonja: Discursive Construction of Ethnic Others in Nigerian Online Discussion
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Rotimi Taiwo
Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife
Email: ferotai@yahoo.com

Abstract

How are discursive expressions of alterity online constructed? What factors engender this form of discourse and what is the socio-cognitive basis? What are implications of this construction of ethnic otherness online for a multiethnic nation like Nigeria? This study anchors on these questions. These issues were explored based on theories of social representation and discursive discrimination, such as social constructionism, biological determinism, symbolic interactionism. The study analysed the commenting behaviour of Nigerians drawn from Nairaland Forum based on van Dijk’s (1996) social representation theory and Boreus’ (2006) typology of discursive discrimination. The findings revealed that prejudices and stereotypes are premised on experiences and opinions that lead to generalisation, group polarisation illusory correlation, and attribution errors. Negative other presentations are achieved through labelling, deployment of environmentalbased peculiarities, struggles for socio-economic goals, ethnic sociocultural peculiarities, behaviour and appearances as well as perceived personality traits. These issues are accentuated through the deployment of linguistic and discursive forms and strategies, such as the mood system, adjectivisation, metaphorisation, lexicalisation, humorisation, and essentialisation. The study concludes that despite the fact that expressions of alterity are identified as online phenomena, they often impact offline intergroup relations.

Keywords

discursive construction, othering, alterity, prejudices, stereotypes, Nairaland, ethnicity

Pages: 29-50
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-308-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-309-5 (PDF)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56907/g0v59jv9

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