The pragmatics of computer-mediated communication between South African and Mexican drug traffickers

Chariatte, Nadine (2016). The pragmatics of computer-mediated communication between South African and Mexican drug traffickers (Unpublished). In: 7th International Symposium on Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics. Sevilla. 04.-06.05.2016.

South Africa and Mexico are ripe with drug trafficking. The gangs and syndicates running the drug businesses in these two countries collaborate occasionally. Communication between these international drug business partners takes place on social media. Their main language of communication is English, mixed with some limited use of Spanish and Afrikaans. The key purpose of the interactions between the South African and Mexican parties is the organisation of their business activities. This study aims at examining how the drug traffickers position each other and themselves regarding their common business interest and how their relationship evolves throughout their interactions. Moreover, it is of interest to look at how these people make use of different social media and their affordances. For this a qualitative analysis of the interaction between two drug traffickers (one South African and one Mexican) on Facebook, Threema and PlayStation 4 was performed. Computer-mediated communication between these two main informants was studied at various stages of their relationship. Results show that at first the interaction between the South African and Mexican drug traffickers consists of interpersonal negotiations of power. The high risk of the drug business and gang/syndicate membership paired with intercultural frictions causes the two interlocutors to be extremely cautious and at the same time to mark their position. As their relationship develops and they gain trust in each other a shift to interpersonal negotiations of solidarity takes place. In these discursive practices diverse linguistic strategies are employed for creating relational effects and for positioning the other and the self. The discursive activities of the interactants are also identity practices. Thus, the two drug traffickers construct identities through these social practices, positioning and their interpersonal relationship.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Spanish Languages and Literature > Linguistic Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Spanish Languages and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Chariatte, Nadine

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures
400 Language > 460 Spanish & Portuguese languages

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nadine Chariatte

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 14:21

Last Modified:

19 Jul 2016 14:21

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84016

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