Autistic sociality on Twitter: Enacted affordances and affiliation strategies

Nelya Koteyko, Martine van Driel, John Vines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While there is an increasing focus on the use of online networks among autistic users, how autistic adults communicate in social networking sites remains underexplored. The article puts forward an argument for combining systematic observation of digital practices with analysis of evaluative language in order to provide a situated account of ‘autistic sociality’ (Ochs et al, 2004) in social media. Drawing on practice-based theories of social media affordances and digital discourse analysis research on online self-presentation and affiliation we show how autistic Twitter users draw on association, content persistence and editability in order to signal social engagement through different forms of interaction and alignment. We discuss how the proposed framework can provide a new perspective on communicative practices of autistic social media users and advance development of inclusive digital networking platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalDiscourse & Communication
Issue number4
Early online date3 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • affiliation
  • stance
  • affordance
  • practice theory
  • autism
  • inclusion


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