Contemplating post-digital narrativity: Co-active, multimodal meaning-making on Instagram and its implications on learning

By: Anastasia Topalidou Laskaridou, Nikolaos Papadopoulos and Dimitrios Koutsogiannis


Volume: 08
Issue: 02:Winter 2022
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2022.0019
Pages: 119-142
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Teenage-platform co-action
Post-digital critical literacies



The paper addresses the post-digital, multimodal narratives of a thirteen-year-old teenage girl on Instagram. Post-digitality refers to the ontological assumption that the online is inseparably intertwined with the offline world. On the other hand, narratives are understood as sociocultural, perspectival, and interactional discursive nodes co-produced by the teenage girl and the platform. The fine-grained interpretation of our data draws upon a transdisciplinary framework combining several theoretical and methodological approaches, most prominently social semiotics and semiotic technology, narrative studies, new literacy studies, and critical sociolinguistics. The qualitative analysis of our data follows the logic of nexus analysis, highlighting the design of the post-digital, multimodal teenage narratives on Instagram Stories and the software’s complex role in co-crafting situated storytelling. The main research findings indicate that Instragram’s affordances, i.e., its technological, semiotic, social, and algorithmic features, function as co-active, non-human agents with which the adolescent girl strategically negotiates to produce her multimodal narrative work. Finally, we argue that educational policy should acknowledge the affordances of the teenage-platform multimodal narrative synergy and the need for a post-digital critical literacies pedagogy.


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