Enregistering 'Frat Boy' on social media: DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 (8 June) - Scott F. Kiesling - Universität Hamburg
Enregistering 'Frat Boy' on social media: DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 (8 June)
Scott F. Kiesling is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. His research focuses on the ways that identities, particularly masculinty, place, and heterosexual identities, affect language change, and how such identity categories are discursively constructed. He is the author of Language, Gender and Sexuality: An Introduction (2019), “Masculine stancetaking and the linguistics of affect: On masculine ease.” (2018), Pittsburgh Speech and Pittsburghese (co-author, 2015), and “Dude” (2004).
The ‘frat boy’ is a mediatized figure related to a social role and based on identities of young men who are members of “Greek letter societies” on college campuses in the United States. In this lecture, I inspect multiple representations, imitations, and parodies of the 'frat boy' figure, and what lessons it provides for ‘digital’ sociolinguistics. Specifically, I address:
How are ‘frat boy’ figures created, through language and in combination with other semiotic modes?
When people perform these voices in person, are they similar at all to the digital performed voices? What variation is present and why? How do the affordances of different media platforms affect these performances?
The ‘frat boy’ represents a figure of hegemonic masculinity and people with privilege in the US. Does social media parody chip away at the hegemonic power enjoyed by most of the men in fraternities?
DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 aims to showcase cutting edge international research on digitally language and communication by both senior and younger researchers from across the world. We wish to present research that explores digital language and communication by drawing on key concepts and topics in socio-cultural linguistics, such as community, context, identity, mediated interaction, multimodality, and linguistic change. We particularly welcome presentations of innovative methods that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries.--- DiLCo (‘Digital language variation in context’) is a 3-year international research network initiated in 2021 at the University of Hamburg. The network brings together researchers from Europe and USA with expertise in computational, interactional, and ethnographic approaches to digital language and linguistics. It aims to provide a platform for the development of interdisciplinary ideas in digital language and communication research, and for early-career capacity building.