The Dominant Discourse Representing Iranian National Identity in Social Media: A Case Study of Twitter
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Identity is defined through the comparison of oneself to the other and it is rooted in human beings' need to be different and distinguished from others. From a post-structualist viewpoint, identity is plural, dynamic and multi-dimensional and both individual and collective identities can be portrayed through various medias. Social media, as the most prominent phenomenon of our era, not only provides a unique opportunity for people to share their thoughts and feelings, but also affects their lifestyles and worldviews. The present study, a qualitative analysis of big data, probes the discourse behind the representation of Iranian national identity in social media and specifically twitter. By probing the tweets, the study shows the discourses in which Iranians represent their identity. To find out the way Iranian twitter users redefine themselves and their national identity in their tweets, 100000 tweets were compiled in a 8-week period and were categorized based on their common features. Utilizing the discourse analysis and thematic analysis, the six elicited themes were categorized in a three dimensional discourse which includes regret, humiliation and innateness. Elaborating the themes, Iranians always regret their past civilization and behaviors, they humiliate themselves comparing the otherness and the last but not the least, their behaviors are inherently determined.