Talk: Management of advice and relational work among the interactions in the Facebook group 'PCT Class of 2020'
Advice is not only present in our every-day offline world but also online. The speech acts containing advice can be realized on a vast continuum that ranges between linguistic forms such as classic conditional clauses followed by should-instructions, I would do X-statements, indirect statements realizing suggestions, imperatives or questions inviting introspection and information-giving which is yet taken up as advice by the advice-seeker. Advice-giving can be quite a delicate matter as there is a natural asymmetry between advice-giver and advice-seeker, this topic is also closely tied to relational work, politeness and considerations of face.
This talk is focused on a case-study of how advice and relational work are managed in the Facebook group ‘PCT Class of 2020’, a group that was originally intended as a platform for people to connect in terms of the common endeavour of wanting to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (a long-distance trail along the west coast in the USA). This is as such traditionally a place where advice is exchanged freely among this particular community of practice. However, in March 2020, discussions turned to whether people should quit the trail due to the on-going pandemic (following governmental guidelines and the statements from the official association that manages the trail) where comments would more often than not, change from an advice-friendly environment to a rather moral and sometimes even hostile tone, therefore providing an opportunity to study various levels of how advice and relational work are managed amongst members of the Facebook group.
- Management of advice and relational work among the interactions in the Facebook group 'PCT Class of 2020'