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The Personal Weblog

A Linguistic History


Peter Schildhauer

This book outlines a coherent genre history of the personal weblog from the perspective of media linguistics. An analysis of a diachronic corpus (1997–2012) suggests distinct phases in the history of the genre. In addition to media linguistics, the author draws on methods from textual and corpus linguistics as well as the social sciences. He traces the personal weblog’s various relations to different on- and offline genres and describes the blog communication form as well as the communicative situation, structural features and several posting genres characteristic of personal weblogs. The findings are embedded into theoretical considerations on genre change in general as well as stability and change of web-based genres in particular.
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3 Methodological Framework


Efimova (2009: 18) opens her methodology chapter by voicing the insight that “[t]alking about one’s research paradigm is similar to talking about one’s religion.” Indeed, there have been profound debates between proponents of qualitative and quantitative research as the two basic methodological paradigms. While quantitative research aims at testing hypotheses at large amounts of data, qualitative studies focus on interpreting small samples and case studies in order to generate theories in an inductive way (Brüsemeister 2000: 21). However, more recent publications stress that, depending on the specifics of the respective object of research, integrating methods from both paradigms proves most beneficial (e.g., Mayring 2010: 124; Dang-Anh & Rüdiger 2015; Klemm & Michel 2015).

Similarly, the current study rests on three methodological pillars, which I’ll outline in the next section. Sections 3.2 and 3.3 will then elaborate on two of them as they will be relevant for all the chapters to follow. Please note that every chapter in the main part is introduced by a section What I Did | What I Read, which provides detailed information on the methods applied to reach the respective results.

3.1 Mixed Methods: Three Pillars

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