#WeTheNorth : Hashtag as a Facilitator of National Identity on Twitter

Authors

EICHLER Jan

Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description The practice of hashtagging has become a ubiquitous part of communication on social media. The body of research devoted to this phenomenon trying to delineate its functionality has grown over the last several years. For example, Zappavigna (2011) tackled with the potential of hashtags on Twitter to build ‘ambient affiliation’ and communal relationships between users, Page (2012) dealt with the role of hashtags in personal and professional branding and their employment to enhance one’s visibility, and Scott (2015) delved into pragmatic contribution of hashtags on social media. Taking #WeTheNorth as a case study, this paper explores the employment of hashtags on Twitter in negotiation of national identity. Being at first used as a promotional tool during a marketing campaign for the only Canadian team in the National Basketball Association (NBA) – the Toronto Raptors, the paper argues that #WeTheNorth has undergone a gradual functional shift which led to the fact that it was eventually embraced as a marker of Canadian identity with multiple offshoots serving a similar role.
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