Transnational Identity in Online Discourse – Netflix’s Sense8 and accompanying Twitter communication
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Digital media has become ubiquitous and immensely shapes communitarisation, and thus identity construction. As media does not rely on physical border crossing to bring us in con-tact with different subject positions, traditional forms of mobility are not necessary to include people in transnational discourse and narratives of transnational identification. However, scholarly attention has been focused on discourses of transnational identities tied to traditional transgressions of national space. To bridge this gap the question of how digital transnational identity is constructed in a fictional narrative and through accompanying non-fictional communication is answered. The method employed for this examination is digital discourse analysis. Objects of investigation are the Netflix Original sci-fi production Sense8, that tells a story about transnational community formation, and accompanying communication on Twitter. I argue that narratives of Sense8 are taken up in tweets featuring #Sense8 and #Sense8NetflixRewatch to construct transnational identities. Five discursive strategies are present in fictional and non-fictional environments, which are constitutive for digital transnational identities: emphasizing connectivity, foregrounding shared values in the identity negotiation, displaying network aesthetics, communicating in transnational spaces, and replacing nationality through the interplay of local and global. Transnational challenges (e.g. the refugee crisis or the Covid19-pandemic) show how interconnected the world is, but simultaneously increasing national isolation tendencies and negative identity politics illustrate that it is crucial to look at what connects people beyond nationality. Developing an understanding of how people place themselves in global connections can aid facilitating worldwide cooperation, migration policies and help managing otherness.
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Anna Carolin Antonia Rohmann (2020). Transnational Identity in Online Discourse – Netflix’s Sense8 and accompanying Twitter communication. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16385