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Troll i diskussionsforum: en etnologisk analys av attityder kring olika bruk av virtuell identitet
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the emic use of ”Internet trolls" and trolling behaviour in one specific Internet community. The findings are compared with, and put in relations to the conventional definition of Internet-trolls as individuals who deliberately, typically anonymously, antagonize other users of online common spaces.

A forum dealing with matters of relationship issues in the Swedish online community Message Board of, was the subject of field-work that provided the basic empirical material for the research; three comparable threads on the subject of infidelity. These could all be said to contain suspected trolling, and such suspicions were also ascribed participants throughout the discussions. The analysis was undertaken mainly in terms of quality of narrative, performance and interaction.

A comparative method and a genre analysis out of a holistic and functionalistic perspective is used to shed some light on how forum participants organize themselves and steer narratives towards desired outcomes. Author performances, both initially and throughout conversational threads, are explored through holistic analysis.

It is concluded that a broad emic view on trolls and trolling behaviour exists within the Internet community, and that the understanding of trolls can differ between users, forums and within conversational threads. The results are put in relations to and are compared to how trolls are described in Swedish folklore tradition. Parallels are also drawn to fear of and belief in evil.

The analytical concepts ”actual” and ”virtual” worlds, as defined by the anthropologist Tom Boellstorff (2008:18f), are used in this analysis to illustrate how trolling behaviour can be perceived when borders between differing worldviews are crossed and/or when the majority of the active participants of a thread consider a statement incompatible with the dominating interpretation of a given narrative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethnology, Internet trolls, actual, virtual, narrative, performance, interaction, worldview
Keyword [sv]
Etnologi, Internettroll, faktisk, virtuell, narrativ, performance, interaktion, världsbild
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1602OAI: diva2:560420
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-10-16 Created: 2012-10-14 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Troll i diskussionsforum D-uppsats Sascha Berg(1077 kB)537 downloads
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