n Acta Academica - Group identities in Kenyan SMS messages

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


Short Message Service (SMS) as a new form of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) seems to dissolve interaction and social hierarchies, thus resulting in the emergence of social groups. To determine how SMS has resulted in the emergence of social groups, this article explores the issues of group identities and language use in Kenyan text messages. Group identities and language use are examined in terms of age, social hierarchy and gendered identity. An integration of social structures and linguistic structures is emphasised. The findings reveal that a "new" language which presents the group identity of the users has evolved through SMS. Group identities are determined through the social agents of SMS language.

As nuwe vorm van rekenaar-bemiddelde kommunikasie blyk kortboodskapdiens (SMS) sosiale interaksie en hiërargieë op te los sodat sosiale groepe hul verskyning maak. Met die oogmerk om die bydrae van SMS tot die vorming van sosiale groepe te bepaal, is groepsidentiteite en taalgebruik in Keniaanse SMS boodskappe verken. Groepsidentiteite en taalgebruik is ondersoek in terme van ouderdom, sosiale hiërargie and geslagtelikheid. Die integrasie van sosiale strukture en linguale strukture is beklemtoon. Daar is bevind dat 'n "nuwe" taal wat die groepsidentiteit van gebruikers verteenwoordig deur middel van SMS ontwikkel het. Groepsidentiteite word bepaal deur die sosiale agente van SMS taal.

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