Mixing SNA and semiotics: a methodological framework for analyzing online collective subjectivities

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This paper proposes a combination of linguistics and sociology in order to develop an empirical methodological approach for analyzing different interest groups on social media. From sociology, we articulate the concept of collective subjectivities (CS) for the virtual environment and propose to call its virtual layer online collective subjectivities (OCS). The causality of a CS is different of the weberian active causality and of the durkheimian conditional causality. The collective causality has to be understood as a property of the social systems, which refers to their interactions. For the OCS analysis, we consider a specific social media debate as a proxy of a social system. Thus, OCSs and their members interact on a social network in such a way that they have a causal effect over the world that may be intentional or not. The line of argumentation developed here is based on empirical finding that clustering algorithms divide a retweet network in groups that have distinct worldviews – in this specific case, political views.

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