Electronic Folklore Among Teenagers: SMS Messages Cover Image

Електронски фолклор тинејџера: SMS поруке
Electronic Folklore Among Teenagers: SMS Messages

Author(s): Tijana Cvjetićanin
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Етнографски институт САНУ
Keywords: SMS messages; cellular phones; communication; contemporary folklore; socialization

Summary/Abstract: The development of ICT media made way for a new form of folklore communication. Newly developed media, such as mobile phones, make it possible for their users to participate in electronically mediated communication, thus approaching the form of oral communication. The exchange of special type of SMS text messages represents a new way of transmitting contemporary folklore short forms. These messages use poetic language, they have standard style, themes, patterns and formulas, and they form different genres and categories, coresponding with already existing familiar folklore forms. The communication process that happens during the exchange of these messages also has folklore’s characteristics: it takes place within small groups, the communication is informal, the texts circulate in chain style, and undergo different transformation which generates the making of variants, etc. This form of electronic folklore is especially popular among teenagers, where it’s social funcctions and meanings are also most emphasized. Within this population, it adds to an older tradition of children’s written folklore – poetry albums. Like poetry albums, SMS exchange influences the development of girls’ gender identity, providing also a socially defined chanel for contacts between the sexes. It also functiones as a mechanism of socialization and stratiication witihn the group. At the same time, it creates a new field of meaning, which derives from the very media’s novelty and significance. In this sense, the exchange of SMS represents a symbolic act of acknowledging one’s belonging to the group of mobile telephone users. In this way, a new phenomenon is being symbolically processed through a new form of folklore.

  • Issue Year: LIV/2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 113-125
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Serbian