Bringing Mormon discourse out of the Twilight: exploring how fans recognize, reflect, reinterpret, and resist multiple discourses in and around the seductive saga

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to explore how LDS (Mormon) fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga make meanings from the text in the blogging community known as the Bloggernacle.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to explore how LDS (Mormon) fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga make meanings from the text in the blogging community known as the Bloggernacle. It investigates how fans recognize, reflect, reinterpret, and resist meanings surrounding multiple Big "D" Discourses (Gee, 1999/2010; 2011) in and around the text. It examines the ways in which LDS fans (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) of the Twilight saga use language in order to signify membership in a particular Discourse. In addition, it seeks to understand how LDS fans use language to perform various identities and position themselves and others within the digital space.

This dissertation study analyzes the threads of five blogs and three discussion forums using the combined methods of critical ethnography (Carspecken, 1996) and Gee's (1999, 2010;2011) discourse analysis. It concludes, that, while multiple Discourses are present within the conversational threads, mainstream Mormon Discourse remains dominant and normalized within the space, which both informs and limits the interpretations available to Mormon fans. In addition, identity performance is negotiated in the blogs, and members form specific sub-communities within the Bloggernacle so as to create a space for those with distinct ways of believing, valuing, knowing, and identifying.