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Keywords:

  • Facebook;
  • multimodality;
  • Global Englishes;
  • youth;
  • identity;
  • Nepal

Until recently, scholarship on online social networking has mostly focused on issues of social relationship, privacy, identity and literacy. Research on the interface between multilingualism, multimodality and online social networking from a discursive perspective is relatively limited. This ethno-graphic study draws data from Facebook pages composed and hosted over two years by three economically and educationally privileged undergraduate students in Nepal and uses conceptual constructs of mediascape, convergence culture and global Englishes. The study investigates how the advent of social networking online in Facebook by college youth has influenced their use of the English language and other semiotic resources to index both their local and cosmopolitan identities. Findings suggest that these youth are using social networking to redefine the role of English in relation to their existing social relationships, innovatively mixing English and Nepali in order to construct their bilingual identities, and embedding English with other texts to recontextualize both local and global media content. The paper concludes with a summary of major findings which suggest that online social networking practices have significantly helped to bring about a cultural change among this particular social group in Nepal.

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