Main building summer

University of Jyväskylä's main building in the summer.

Language and Superdiversity

“Language and Superdiversity: (Dis)identification in Social Media” is a project funded by the Academy of Finland (2012–2016).

We investigate the ways in which linguistic and other semiotic resources are used by individuals and groups in superdiverse social media. We are interested in how the resources are used for social action and interaction, knowledge construction and cultural production; for the collaborative creation, negotiation and appropriation of a participatory social and cultural reality online and offline.

We rely on a broad understanding of social media, defined as any digital applications that build on the ideological and technological premisses and foundations of Web 2.0, allowing the creation, exchange and circulation of user-generated content and enabling interaction between users. Thus, social media for us include, for example blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, discussion forums, chatrooms, fan fiction sites, virtual games and websites of social groups representing a diversity of (sub)cultures, nationalities, ethnicities and age groups.

Within the framework provided primarily by discourse studies, sociolinguistics, linguistic ethnography, cultural studies and the study of multimodality:

  • we contribute to the retheorization of social media as important sites for achieving visibility, identity and voice, as well as engaging with ethnicity, belonging and forms of socio-political activism,
  • we describe and explain multisemiotic language and discourse practices in everyday and institutional social media contexts in complex and diverse late modern societies.