'I was bored so...': motivational accounts of participation in an online emo group

Nathalie Chernoff*, Sue Widdicombe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examine members' spontaneous accounts for joining and participating in an online emo forum. The Internet and social networking sites are central features of contemporary youth cultures; the analysis of interaction on emo forums can thus provide a way of appreciating emo as a 'Community in Practice'. We analyse popular discussion threads collected from a key emo website, using membership categorisation and conversation analysis. In these threads, members introduce themselves and account for joining and posting pictures in response to a prior request to do so. Analysis shows that newbies establish their emo attributes and hence entitlement to participate while dismissing emo-related motivation for joining the forum, claiming instead a desire to relieve boredom. Participants similarly accounted for posting photos of themselves and for producing fan pics as due to boredom. We show how claiming to be bored allows members to engage with the group while negotiating potentially problematic inferences that attend subcultural membership. We conclude that our approach provides a useful methodology for furthering our understanding of an important aspect of contemporary youth subcultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume18
Issue number3
Early online date8 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • conversation analysis
  • emo
  • Internet
  • membership categorisation analysis
  • online interaction
  • youth subcultures

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