01whole.pdf (1.02 MB)
Download file

Trolling for norms: the (de)politicising of irony, stigma, and affect

Download (1.02 MB)
thesis
posted on 29.03.2022, 00:32 by Cooper S. Beilby
Originally, internet trolls were tricksters who pretended to be sincere participants in discussions, but whose real intent was to provoke inexperienced users into pointless arguments and cause disruption for entertainment. More recently, however, trolling has become a catch-all term for almost any behaviour that is even vaguely humorous, deceptive, or disruptive. Through inductive analysis of Reddit discussions about trolling and of other documents interviewing trolls, this thesis draws into focus a trolling ideal type. This ideal type is shown to approximate a case study of political trolling involving the Twitter hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII. The case study illuminates how trolls use an intentionally provocative bait to create a feedback loop of amplified visibility and intensified affect. By circulating affect, the feedback loop produces a stickiness and magnetism that draws faceless trolls together into a coherent whole. However, through the dramatic irony norm, trolls use that same affect to stigmatise and exclude the Other to the outgroup.By policing feeling rules whilst performing a folk devil virtual identity, trolls generate a polarising ressentiment which depoliticises the revolutionary potential of anger. Through this process, political trolls seek to repel threats to the borders of their privileged identity and ecalibrate political sentiment in their favour.

History

Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter One. Tricksters, troublemakers, tormentors, and tyrants -- Chapter Two. Vibrant violence at the frontiers of the freedom to troll -- Chapter Three. Punching up! Trolling and the art of stigma maintenance -- Chapter Four. “U mad bro?” The sticky visibility of affective asymmetries-- Chapter Five. Becoming unstuck? -- References.

Notes

Bibliography: pages 76-87 Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Sociology

Year of Award

2018

Principal Supervisor

Justine Lloyd

Rights

Copyright Cooper S. Beilby 2017. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (87 pages) colour illustrations

Former Identifiers

mq:70514 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1265015