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Chapter 13. Online peer-to-peer advice in Spanish <i>Yahoo!Respuestas</i>

image of Chapter 13. Online peer-to-peer advice in Spanish <i>Yahoo!Respuestas</i>

Combining an ethnographic with a discourse analytic approach, the aim of this study is to offer a snapshot of peer-to-peer advice-giving online in <i>Yahoo!Respuestas</i> (YR). I first consider features that the site shares with classical advice columns (online) and features that differentiate the site from those columns. I highlight the hybrid nature of YR as a type of information/advisory service as well as a recreational site that allows people to pursue different social and individual goals. Based on a sample corpus in Spanish, I then examine the discursive moves that make up the macro speech act of advising in the domain <i>belleza y estilo</i> &#8216;beauty and style&#8217; and how YR users attend to the interpersonal relationship in this particular domain. I focus on advisors&#8217; use of strategies that convey (dis)affiliation with the advice seeker, making the interaction friendly, matter-of-fact or possibly even antagonistic. (Dis)affiliation strategies can be realized through different discursive moves and by means of different linguistic and other mechanisms employed in the management of interpersonal relationships. Many users engage in advice-giving in a friendly way, and only a few adopt an uncooperative or antagonistic stance. I draw on works on advice-giving (cf. Miller and Gergen 1998; Locher 2006; Morrow 2006; Harrison and Barlow 2009), politeness (cf. Spencer-Oatey [2000] 2008) and computer-mediated communication (cf. Markham 1998; Yus 2010).

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