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Students collectively annotate each reading — asking questions, responding to each other's questions, or sharing other perspectives or knowledge. Perusall's novel data analytics automatically grade these annotations to ensure that students complete the reading, and as an instructor, you get a classroom of fully prepared students every time.

Perusall provides you with a simple "confusion report" that summarizes areas your students misunderstood, disagreed with each other about, or were most engaged with — along with examples of the best annotations, so you can call out specific questions or individuals in class. Perusall encourages students to continue the conversation about the text even after they log off; when other students answer their questions, Perusall sends them an email summary, with the ability to respond without leaving their email client or smartphone.

There is no cost to use Perusall beyond the cost of purchasing the book. Note: Students must purchase through Perusall to access the book in Perusall. Students can purchase online using a credit card, or your university's bookstore can order access codes from Perusall for students to purchase at the bookstore. Learn more. You will not create more than one personal account. Users can then not only choose who can see and read each message, they can also explicitly and publicly address one or more people, thus positioning others as overhearers who are nonetheless authorised to participate.

Additionally, we may wonder who the author of a message on social media is. For example, film excerpts, another person's shared photos or links to other websites raise the questions "who is the author? Who is responsible?

Linguistic and social practices in and beyond the networked classroom

Who is the creator of the content? This turn-taking is also to be found in social media, and is almost identical when two people are talking "privately" or at least similar when several people are responding successively to an initial message and referring not only to what is at the source of the interaction but also to previous comments. The situation is a bit different when the comments refer only to the source, without taking into account the comments or exchanges that preceded them.

In social media, these "short stories" status updates, tweets or other create a coherent narrative and "infer a coherent life story behind the personal chronicle that emerges" Page, This "life story" can even be given a more concrete form in paper, particularly a compilation of the story of how a couple met, a photo album, souvenir book, etc.

We can point to several distinct characteristics of digital traces Ollagnier-Beldame, , which are related to the dynamics of identity. Discussion threads are also visible to contributors themselves as well as to their interlocutors. In some cases, the records may even be visible to an "audience. However, if we draw an analogy between digital traces and memory traces, which also participate in the constitution of the ipse-identity, this calls into question their epistemic status with regards to the individual—are they an extension of the person?

And if so, is there an in vivo self and an in silico self? This reflexive movement is dynamic and temporally located. It consists in recalling old fragments of meaning to create new ones, looking more closely at previous productions, all while distancing oneself from them.

Discourse Communities: From Origins to Social Media | SpringerLink

For Gillespie , reflexivity is a temporary phenomenological experience during which the "self" becomes an object for the human being. It is a time during which humans distance themselves both from themselves and from the immediate situation. This distance allows them to act on themselves and on the situation. We can then look at the conditions for the emergence of reflexive processes. Several socio-cultural theories have provided some answers to this question Gillespie, They have shown the need for contact with others and the role of an external framework in bringing about a reflexive process; this can take the form of conversations with a third party that show people a re formulation of their activity see parts 2.

Such data can be explicitly created by individuals blogs or constituted by others, including by the software itself record of periods of activity, social network user history made up of indicators, etc. First, it can serve as the basis for the explanation of an action Coen, , offering a visualisation of action that a person can process and interpret, such as the graphs showing the evolution of a task or statistical data concerning the frequency of a particular behaviour on social media, etc.


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These records, objectified and made visible by the system, are assertions about the experience of the person who sees them. This is also a characteristic that is used in psychological interviews to encourage the subject to react. Similarly, visible digital traces invite a response confirmation, correction or denial , because people are affected by the traces not only for cognitive reasons but also for moral ones.

This effect is all the more important because these assertions can be repeated by the reactions of others who see them.

Discourses of 'curation' in digital times

Digital traces become a necessary resource on two levels of reflexivity, offering two distinct types of action: accessing the lived experience reflected in the action and analytically developing a subjective view of the activity see also 3. These traces cookies, logs are the input for algorithms that govern decisions about the person's identity, with the aim of predicting behaviour sites visited, purchases, etc.

These predictions rely on calculations that aim to define what Georges calls the "calculated identity.

Proposal summary

This is a digital identity as told by search engines and aggregators, not by the individual who is the source of that data. The French law on "information technology and civil liberties" provides for storage of this data for a limited time, determined by the use made of it, providing people "the right to be forgotten. Where does a person's construction of identity stop and the construction of a collective memory of a person start?

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The article by Fanny Georges in this issue concerns this question and cites the work of Brubacker and Vertesi which shows that after death, a person's digital identity continues to be constructed through the actions of friends and family who keep alive the memory of the deceased. For Vitali-Rosati , it is in this silence, in death, that the story is finished paradoxically when the individual is no longer there and identity stabilises.

This stabilisation can for example overcome the identity fragmentation of the multiple identities synchronic or diachronic that Internet users may have created throughout their life.


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  • Operator theory;
  • Their "producer" or "author"? People who comment on them? People who share them? In social media, the question of traces' ownership becomes critically important; they can be considered both as individual entities and distributed entities or even "collective" ones, depending on the scale chosen to analyse the issue individual, group, community.

    The example of co-authoring an article in the Wikipedia community can illustrate this. During this activity, records are created and shared in the form of text traces statements, rough drafts, annotations, comments, etc. It is through the creation and sharing of these artefacts that a "discursive" community is created.

    As a Wikipedia contributor, you can use various tools that keep track of your activity. For example, you can view different versions of the article and see the sequence of your contributions and the modifications made by other contributors. You can also consult the log of the article; this lists the contributions and related data contributor's username, date, etc. You can also consult the contribution management tool which will show, over time, the changes in the article's length. If you write freely and extensively, this last piece of information will be useful for monitoring the volume of your contribution.

    And every textual trace belongs to its author you or another contributor as well as to others if it is used again, corrected spelling or content , illustrated with an image, etc. This is a new editorial genre with an expanded notion of author—every user is a possible content producer and owner of the traces associated with that content production. One difficulty in the calculation that the machine makes about the identity of an individual the quantified self concerns ownership and the issue of determining to whom the digital traces belong.

    If the machine does not "know" specifically to whom each trace belongs and whose history includes a trace, how can it make reliable identity calculations? Activities in social media are also part of spatial and temporal dimensions which are inextricably linked together but which here we will address separately for the sake of clarity. But a lifetime is not the limit of social media. Profiles can remain open after a person's death, and serve as a place of remembrance, or be created for persons who do not yet or who no longer have the ability to express themselves in this way children, the deceased, see Fanny Georges, , in this issue.

    But unlike a letter, social media also allow users to check if a message has been seen, by whom and when, as well as who is connected and therefore possibly available, etc. Thus, when a contact whose status is "online" fails to reply, it is not considered unusual or necessarily impolite. This is in part due to the sometimes very complex temporality of a sequence of events: not only can answers arrive over a huge span of time immediately following the original message or several days, weeks or even months later , the web 2.

    Zhao, Grasmuck and Martin distinguish three different time frames for Facebook messages and thus three time spaces in which users can act and interact: data related to the present, data related to the presentation of oneself over a longer time and archived data. Facebook lets users speak about the current time-space or performance region where users comment on the hic et nunc or use it as a basis for comments.

    This time-space is highlighted by construction of the interface timeline interface , which places the most recent comments first. Secondly, Facebook lets users return to what was written in the past, deleting it, adjusting it, commenting on it and managing one's image "after the fact" exhibition region. The ability to return to the past and connect it to the present via recent activities creates a very complex temporality.

    Thirdly, add to this the fact that all of the data will be recorded, thus leaving traces and making it possible to archive life's moments personal region and construct an individual's biography. An analysis in terms of chronotopes and heterochrony extends this perspective to longer timescales and longer-term projects that entrain many specific activities in different times and places Lemke, The screen creates a coherent space in which the user acts according to the rules and the formatted structures see in particular Androutsopoulos, , on the role of language in this construction of space.

    What is possible or not in this space allows certain types of actions or not : as we have seen previously, Facebook for instance encourages positive inter-individual relations with the "like" function. The window that opens below every new comment by a member of the network encourages comments, the profile page encourages users to give certain specific information about themselves name, birthdate, professional experience , whereas other information is not required eye colour, favourite food, pets.

    LinkedIn on the other hand, as a social medium focused on the professional world, offers users the chance to recommend someone else for her specific skills and leaves room to include key words summing up competencies, etc. This is then a discursive space that configures discursive productions which can come about starting from the affordances Gibson, it provides. The identity of a person on a social network is defined in part by the people they allow into their network as "friends. People can play around, fool or trick readers as they wish.

    The physical space can become a central aspect in interaction and in the construction of identity if the place where the user lives becomes a topic see for example de Nooy's example, , in this issue where Australians in Australia post parallel weather reports for Australia and France.

    Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing discourse analysis in the digital age

    Some places that are privileged sources of information national congresses or assemblies, scientific conferences lend themselves more than others to rapid and extensive tweeting. This mobility and multiple activity requires users to focus on multiple things at once: the road we are walking down with its dangers and social media messages in the first instance, face-to-face interaction with colleagues, a powerpoint presentation on a computer screen where we are also taking notes and the telephone screen showing social media messages in the second instance.

    Jones talks about "multi-focusing of attention" which is brought about by this simultaneous use of different forms of onscreen communication. Based on this work, we might think that our becoming progressively accustomed to scattered attention could modify our "attention identity", impacting our ability to concentrate on a single activity. That is to say, they create an imagined space based on clues linguistic, visual or auditory that users provide.

    Which explains, in particular during phone calls with video, the staging of backgrounds or hiding certain details in an attempt to bring the representation of the self in line and up to date with the aims of the exchange Chabert, Interindividual relations are structured by society relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. Generally, they are not locally determined. Various types of these communities have been described from the beginning of the s with different concepts: as "neo-tribalism" Maffesoli, which focuses on the emotional relationship of individuals as the relational element; as an "event community" Gebhardt, which emphasizes the short term construction and the common topical focus; as "communities of practice" Wenger, which relates the coherence of the community to the dimension of "mutual engagement", "joint enterprise" and "shared repertoire"; or as "communication communities" Knoblauch, which highlights the interactive construction of the community's identity.

    With reference to the German sociological concept of " Gemeinschaft ", Knoblauch argues that certain "post-traditional" communities " Gemeinschaften " are characterized by a mostly discursive organization of belonging, that is, for instance, the way you join or leave the community or what you can do, what you have access to, etc. In contrast, traditional communities are generally organized through knowledge and tradition. According to him, in post-traditional communities—and Internet communities are included in these—communication becomes the most important element. In social media, community can only be created by communication; belonging, as well as the negotiation of shared norms and values, cannot draw on shared knowledge.

    In this, social media communities are "communication communities" in the sense of Knoblauch, rather than "discourse communities" in the sense of Pogner, , see section 2. As a member of a social network, users position themselves first with regards to this social network: they express themselves, comment, support opinions based on the standards, values and habits of this network see for example the different identities of Nora on different platforms in Dooly, , in this issue. These norms and values are not clearly set down; they are constantly renegotiated in exchanges between members.

    The software makes it just as easy to get out of a relationship or network.

    But behind this labelling, networks can be interconnected and muddled: "friends" from Facebook may be colleagues, neighbours or customers, "connections" on LinkedIn are sometimes more friends or acquaintances. While some networks are based more on shared practices and resemble Wenger's "communities of practice" see for instance Zourou's communities of Open Educational Practice, OEP, users in this issue, others are nearly exclusively based on interactive construction of a common identity particularly the "friends" of French Affair in the article by de Nooy, , in this issue.

    Additionally, some social networks allow users to create groups. Users "join" a group or show their support for a group which itself accepts them, but rarely takes part as a commenter in users' networks.