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Click ‘Like’ and Post It on Your Wall! Chain Posts on Facebook – Identity Construction and Values

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Author(s): Piret Voolaid

Journal: Folklore : Electronic Journal of Folklore
ISSN 1406-0957

Volume: 53;
Start page: 73;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: chain posts | chain letters | Facebook | identity | Internet folklore | school lore | youth lore | social networking | values | luck chain letters

ABSTRACT
The article focuses on chain posts that were collected in the years 2010–2012 and spread predominantly among girls of ten to twelve on Facebook (facebook.com) – a social network that has a membership of over 450,000 in Estonia. The source material comprising approximately 220 texts is similar by form and content to chain letters known from earlier tradition; yet, the web environment with its specific technical structure allows the texts to turn into a peculiar Facebook-like phenomenon.The author takes a closer interest in the changes in form adapted to chain letters as a genre in Facebook environment as well as thematic categories of these letters. The analysis of the epistolary cultural phenomenon focuses on the socio-folkloric nature of texts with its communicative and socio-cultural aspects. The main focus is on how socio-cultural environment influences changes in the genre, what kind of global and local impacts occur in Estonian-language chain posts and how this everyday genre reflects the realities of the era and the values intrinsic to this age group. The levels of personal and collective identity construction of chain posters as a special age group have been analysed against the identity motivation theory known from social psychology.
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