Following Searle On Twitter: How Words Create Digital Institutions

Hardcover | February 27, 2017

byAdam Hodgkin

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Twitter allows us to build communities, track celebrities, raise our social profile, and promote a personal brand. Adam Hodgkin thinks Twitter is much more than a mere social media tool—it is a terrain ripe for a conceptual and theoretical analysis of our use of digital language. In Following Searle on Twitter, Hodgkin takes John Searle’s theory of speech acts as Status Function Declarations (SFDs)—speech acts that fulfill their meaning by saying the right words in the right context—as a probe for understanding Twitter’s institutional structure and the still-developing toolset that it provides for its members. He argues that Twitter is an institution built, constituted, and evolving through the use of SFDs. Searle’s speech act theories provide a framework for illuminating how Twitter membership arises, how users of Twitter relate to each other by following, and how increasingly complex content is conveyed with tweets. Using this framework, Hodgkin places language, action, intention, and responsibility at the core of the digital culture and the digital institutions that we are constructing.
 
Combining theoretical perspective with a down-to-earth exposition of present-day digital institutions, Following Searle on Twitter explores how all of our interactions with these emerging institutions are deeply rooted in language, and are the true foundation of social media and contemporary institutions.

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Twitter allows us to build communities, track celebrities, raise our social profile, and promote a personal brand. Adam Hodgkin thinks Twitter is much more than a mere social media tool—it is a terrain ripe for a conceptual and theoretical analysis of our use of digital language. In Following Searle on Twitter, Hodgkin takes John Searl...

Adam Hodgkin is the Chairman of London-based Exact Editions. He was previously a philosophy editor, electronic publisher at Oxford University Press, and cofounder and employee at Cherwell Scientific Publishing, xrefer, and Exact Editions. He lives in Italy and tweets @adamhodgkin.  

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:February 27, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022643821X

ISBN - 13:9780226438214

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“Hodgkin has given us a philosophical ethnographer’s insights into the creation and shaping of digital institutions. He has combined his practical insider knowledge as a publisher with an analytical sensibility to offer a lucid, lively, and insightful application of the work of John Searle to the world of Twitter. It is an audacious and revealing case study. Even more than that, it appears in timely fashion just as questions about power, control, national security, market dominance, and ethical conduct in the digital world are more than ever in question.”