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Innocent Chiluwa
Nigeria
Biography
Vol. 1 No. 1 (2015), Articles, pages 47-69
Accepted: May 19, 2015
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Abstract

This study critically examines the discourse of posts on Facebook in the ‘occupy Nigeria’ fuel subsidy removal protests. The Facebook posts are viewed as protest discourse with its ideological imprints of positive ‘we’ in-group representations and negative ‘other’ out-group constructions. With a CDA analytical approach, the study shows that Facebook posts are effectively used to describe the identity of the actors, articulate their arguments and demands, enunciate their activities and goals as well as provide information updates to the protesters. The protesters apply linguistic strategies such as code-switching between English and the local languages (e.g. Yoruba) and the use of Standard Nigerian English and the local pidgin to express solidarity as well as for social interaction. Interestingly, Facebook messages were posted from within Nigeria and also from other countries of the Nigerian diaspora. However despite the seeming effectiveness of the online protests via Facebook, the Nigerian protesters did not ultimately achieve their aim partly because the protests did not attract sufficient participation. The individuals engaged in the protests were divided and many still pledged their loyalty to political in-group and ethnic interest rather than national interest.

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