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Skriftbruk i förändring: en semiotisk studie av den personliga hemsidan
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Literacy traditions in change : A semiotic study of the personal homepage (English)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, the phenomenon of personal homepages on the Internet is explored. While the general purpose of the study is to provide a description of the personal homepage and its use, the more specific aim is to characterise it as a product of literacy. Theoretically, the homepage is viewed as a multimodal text product situated within two layers of context: the context of situation, where homepage use can be described in terms of literacy practices and textual norms, and the context of culture, where the conceptual dichotomy between new and old visual literacy can be seen to constitute the overall frame for the investigation. The main material consists of 26 personal homepages assembled in 1998. The owners of these pages form the major part of an informant group involved throughout the study.

The methods combine text analysis on different levels with online field work and experimental interviews. As one result of these analyses, a typology of homepage sections is established and each page category is given a description which reveals what may be called a prototypic structure. Based on the established page categories, the homepage as a format is characterised as a heterogeneous collection of pages with different textual structures and different functions. Another result is a set of literacy practices, generalised on the basis of the informants’ utterances about activities around the homepages. Of these judging and being judged, promoting the page and socialising with friends are practices that are especially dependent on writing, whereas practices such as looking for inspiration and making plans and producing, where the page is more in focus, are more genuinely multimodal. A third kind of results emanates from the text analyses. The semiotic components, i.e. the visual elements, of different page types are identified and analysed, different principles of textual relations between visual elements are explored and the cohesion of a genuinely multimodal page is described. By means of this analysis, certain specialised uses of the two different modalities, language and the non-linguistic visual resource, can be pointed out. In sum, the personal homepage is characterised as highly heterogeneous, relating to both traditional language-based literacy and a less established multimodal text culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2002. , 192 p.
Stockholm studies in Scandinavian philology, ISSN 0562-1097 ; N.S., 25
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27218ISBN: 91-22-01956-1OAI: diva2:212957
Public defence
2002-03-15, Hörsal 10, hus E, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-04-27 Created: 2009-04-26 Last updated: 2012-11-26Bibliographically approved

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