The Resonant Chants of Networked Discourse: Affective Publics and the Muslim Self in Turkey

Haktan Ural


This study draws on a specific hashtag campaign (#AliErbaşYalnızDeğildir), a concerted activity of tweeting supporting the chair of the Directorate of Religious Affairs in Turkey Ali Erbaş, who had criticized sexual practices outside of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. I read the archives of tweets as a performative site for imagining a Muslim self that forms affective publics. This research is built on two complementary layers of analysis. First, I dissect the thematic patterns of the top tweets including the above hashtag and identify three thematic patterns. Second, I scrutinize affective resonances by examining the circulation of the tweets in question. Viewing through this lens, the present study argues that networked discourse is a dynamic site for drawing the symbolic boundaries of Muslim identity. To have a deeper understanding of this dynamism, this study calls us to pay close attention to affective resonances, as they can provide the potential for negotiating networked discourse.


affective resonances, discourse, Twitter, Muslim self, Turkey

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