University of Leicester
2018DitchfieldHPhD.pdf (2.85 MB)

Behind The Screens Of Facebook: An Interactional Study Of Pre-Post Editing And Multicommunication In Online Social Interaction

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posted on 2018-11-13, 11:43 authored by Hannah Ditchfield
This thesis explores the construction of posting activity within peer interactions on the social networking site, Facebook. At the heart of the thesis is an interest in how Facebook users negotiate online activities that are not possible in face-to-face, or other, communicative contexts. Two such activities are examined: pre-post editing and multicommunicating. Each of the activities explored in this thesis presents challenges to Facebook users. Users, for example, are presented with the unique, yet complex, ability to craft and re-craft their messages before sharing them with their audience as well as managing the interactional difficulties associated with engaging in multiple interactions at the same time. With such activities changing the dynamics of online interaction, this thesis explores how users utilise and manage these activities within their Facebook interactions as well as questioning the extent to which ‘interactional order’ is maintained. This thesis addresses these concerns by examining real time video recordings of four Facebook user’s interactions that were generated through the use of screen-capture technology. Informed theoretically by the work of Goffman and methodologically by conversation analysis, this thesis goes ‘beyond the screen’ to examine the maintenance of interactional order within this pre-post activity. In doing so, the thesis makes a number of original contributions to knowledge relating to the study of online communication; presenting a unique perspective on how Facebook users maintain ‘face’ in pre-post interaction, exploring the use of “simplification techniques” within multicommunication activity and contributing to existing understandings of temporal organisation within online communicative environments. The thesis also makes a series of distinctive methodological interventions; challenging existing understandings of the public/private distinction in writing on online research ethics and working through methodological challenges of using screen capture software that have not yet been confronted by scholars.



Whiteman, Natasha; Lunt, Peter

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Media and Communication

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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