#shutdownjnu vs #standwithjnu
A study of aggression and conflict in political debates on social media in India
In February 2016, one of the premier Universities of higher education in India, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), suddenly came into the limelight for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at one of the protest cultural programmes in the campus. In this paper, I present a study of the co-emergence and spread of the two opposing hashtags in the context of the controversy – #shutdownjnu and #standwithjnu. The study is based on data collected from Twitter over a period of 2 years from February 2016 – February 2018. I present a quantitative as well as qualitative analysis of the emergence and use of these two hashtags on Twitter and understand these in terms of the process of enregisterment and how conflict (and consequently aggression) became normative and conventionalised in the context of these hashtags. I also take a comparative look at the enregisterment of the two hashtags and argue that despite similar conditions, enregisterment is not guaranteed.
Keywords: aggression, enregisterment, conventionalisation, social media, Hindi, JNU
Published online: 11 July 2019
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