A Communicatively Constituted Online Crisis: A Theoretical Proposition for Studying Crisis Development in Social Media Communicative Interactions

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  • Chiara Valentini
  • ,
  • Stefania Romenti, IULM University, Italy
  • Dean Kruckeberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States
This chapter presents a theoretical proposition that could serve as foundation to explain how people become aware, develop an understanding, and create meanings about specific critical situations through social media conversations and how, eventually, these transform critical situations into specific public crisis perceptions.
Drawing from a communicative constitution perspective, the authors argue that if crises are perceptions or experiences of difficult situations that exceed a person’s current resources and coping mechanisms, and if perceptions and experiences in social media are typically mediated, then online crises and their meanings are communicatively constructed. The chapter outlines how online conversations constitute discursive practices that make publics aware of critical situations of which they may or may not know and can even construct reputational crises. The chapter concludes by offering suggestions on how to study online critical conversations through the lens of a communicative constitution perspective that could inform how critical issues eventually transform and become crises and how crisis perceptions evolve and are discursively shaped by communicative practices occurring in social media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Media and Public Relations
EditorsSandra Duhé
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherPeter Lang
Publication yearJul 2017
ISBN (print)978-1-4331-3273-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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