Rianna Walcott (KCL) - 2017-18 Students

Hidden Faces in Closed Spaces: Identity Formation and Code-Switching in Black Cyber-Feminist Groups

This study will demonstrate the ways in which social media spaces stimulate production of new language, and allow for its dissemination between geographically and culturally disparate people. I will be looking at Facebook’s secret groups, which foster scrutiny of cultural others and are platform to a global solidarity movement for displaced members of the black diaspora.

The study will focus on three kinds of Facebook groups: 1) groups that are intended to be exclusively for black people, 2) groups that are broadly for ‘people of colour’ and 3) multi-ethnic spaces. This comparison will allow for an analysis of code-switching – alternation between different language varieties – when white people are excluded compared to when they are included in these spaces.

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