Online Comment Sections as Punishment Ritual: Drawing Community Boundaries in the Digital Age

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dc.contributor.advisor Kramer, R en Corner, Nicola en 2018-04-05T21:49:02Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis analyses online comment sections as a form of punishment ritual and outlines what the manifestation of this ritual may reveal about punishment in the contemporary age. Drawing on both social media theory and the works of Emile Durkheim, the first part of the thesis establishes that online comment sections provide an ideal context to revive the notion of punishment as a collective ritual performance. In the second part of the thesis, empirical data is used to demonstrate how ritual manifests in the online comment section and links to punishment discourse at a broader level. Three data sets will be used to develop these ideas. Online commentary from a sample of 30 articles surrounding the sentencing of criminal offenders is used to explore the core conventions and dynamics of the ritual. Following this, a discourse analysis of two policy changes in New Zealand (the three strikes law and the raising of the youth justice age) will explore how these conventions can be linked to wider penal trends. In exploring the punishment ritual of the online comment section, it becomes clear that the ritual manifests in a particular way. Principally, commenters seem to derive a sense of communion and solidarity not from the formal punishment process, but rather by fortifying in-group boundaries and banding together against a common enemy of either the offender or the justice system itself. With these dynamics taken offline and mapped onto the contemporary landscape, it will be argued that while online comment sections may provide a new space for the collective character of punishment to thrive, it does not necessarily follow that this produces a long-term sense of social order or cohesion. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265045908902091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Online Comment Sections as Punishment Ritual: Drawing Community Boundaries in the Digital Age en
dc.type Thesis en Criminology en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 735210 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-04-06 en

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