Hashtagging for Health Promotion: Constructing Meaning as an #AntibioticGuardian


  • Anna Franca Plastina Università degli Studi della Calabria



Parole chiave:

Hashtagging, Health Promotion, UGC, meaning making, PDA, CMC


This paper aims at investigating how the hashtag constructs meanings in public health campaigns in Twitter. These may have peculiar features due to the simultaneous influence of the character-constrained mode of Twitter, and of the conventional set of communication activities adopted to ensure their effectiveness. The research is based on a corpus of sample tweets (N=2,438) taken from #AntibioticGuardian, a campaign led by Public Health England to reduce Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The lexicogrammatical realisations, evaluative language and predominant discourse functions are analysed to seek the meanings that the hashtag can construct in each of the four communication activities, namely increasing awareness and knowledge, providing cues for action, demonstrating simple skills, and changing and/or reinforcing attitudes and behaviours. The method of positive discourse analysis (PDA) used offers the advantage of highlighting how the positive change advocated takes place linguistically; micro and macro data findings reveal a significant user-generated content (UGC) pattern reflecting new ways of making meaning, which moves far beyond the more traditional tagging practices.


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Biografia autore

Anna Franca Plastina, Università degli Studi della Calabria

Anna Franca Plastina is qualified Associate Professor at the University of Calabria, Italy. Her main research interests include: ESP, CMC, discourse analysis and psycholinguistics. Her recent publications include: Reframing as a Persuasive Method in Public Speech: Beyond Globalized Biodiversity, John Benjamins, 2018; Creating Specialised Corpora in English for Medical Purposes: A Study on Learners’ Direct Use, Peter Lang, 2017; Putting the Plain into Pain Language in English for Medical Purposes: Learner Inquiry into Patients’ Online Descriptive Accounts, Language Learning in Higher Education, 2016; Challenging Language Barriers in the Public Service: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (ed.), Aracne, 2016.




Come citare

Plastina, Anna Franca. 2018. «Hashtagging for Health Promotion: Constructing Meaning As an #AntibioticGuardian». Altre Modernità, ottobre, 87-106. https://doi.org/10.13130/2035-7680/10753.