Journal of Foreign Languages ›› 2021, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (1): 21-40.

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Ambient Affiliation in Comments on YouTube Videos:Communing Around Values About ASMR

Michele Zappavigna   

  1. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Received:2020-03-30 Online:2021-01-20 Published:2021-02-03

Abstract: This paper explores ambient affiliation within the ASMR community on YouTube, investigating how values are communed around in YouTube comments.This community consists of viewers who watch videos designed to elicit an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), that is, a pleasurable sensory reaction to visual or aural stimuli.The paper focuses on the linguistic resources involved in orienting the ambient audience to the values shared, as couplings of ATTITUDE and IDEATION, in the comments feed.Because most comments do not receive any reply, rather than dialogic affiliation, a framework for analysing communing affiliation, based on Zappavigna and Martin's (2018) approach to Twitter data, is applied.Three systems of meaning are considered:convoking (mustering community around a coupling), finessing (dialogically positioning a coupling), and promoting (emphasising a coupling).The paper develops these systems in terms of delicacy.The attitudinal component of the couplings is analysed using the Appraisal framework (Martin and White 2005).The dataset explored is the comments feed of the most viewed video on the Gentle Whispering ASMR YouTube channel, the most popular ASMR channel at the time of writing.

Key words: ambient affiliation, communing affiliation, coupling, appraisal, digital intimacy, ASMR, YouTube

CLC Number: 

  • H030
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