image of Social identity construction in expert-lay dialogue on Facebook



The paper focuses on identity construction on the Facebook profiles of medical professionals. Drawing on existing conceptualisations of identity and proximity, the study explores how five Polish medical experts construct their social identity and create affinity spaces in their interaction with an audience. The analysis shows that affinity spaces are established through the reduction of social distance and epistemic asymmetry between the professionals and their audience. Increasing emotional proximity and stressing the proximity of experience between the interlocutors also contributes to the creation of affinity. Affinity spaces are co-constructed in dialogue with the profile visitors through e.g. deictic resources indicating proximity, personal stories, recontextualisation of medical concepts, expressiveness, and the stressing of commonalities between the orthopaedic surgeons and their followers.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: identity ; affinity ; medical communication ; social media
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