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Abstract

Abstract

In this article I operationalize the term “virtue signaling”, a term generally pejoratively used towards people’s assertions of values on social media platforms, as “moral-political stancetaking”, an activity that is actually quite common on- and offline and that works to exert peer pressure toward onlookers and addressees so that they will adopt certain values. Using analytical frameworks of small stories and stance, I examine a narrative sequence from one political activist, demonstrating how she situates long-term aspects of her biography in relation to present moral-political crises in order to make assertions that culminate in the construction of a moral-political framework for the progressive grassroots organizations that she leads. Through this analysis I assert that the notion of virtue signaling, while new to the social media era, fits well within repertoires of communicative behavior that long pre-date the rise of social media.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ni.20117.zen
2021-03-25
2021-10-28
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