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Strategic communication as discursive institutional work: a critical discourse analysis of Mark Zuckerberg’s legitimacy talk at the European Parliament


Lischka, Juliane A. (2019). Strategic communication as discursive institutional work: a critical discourse analysis of Mark Zuckerberg’s legitimacy talk at the European Parliament. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 13(3):197-213.

Abstract

Digital platforms are under public scrutiny and face a negotiation process regarding their social responsibility. In this institutional discourse about moral responsibilities, corporate actors aim at defending the legitimacy of digital platforms. This study conceptualizes strategic communication as a means for conveying conformity to legitimacy expectations, to shape legitimacy judgements, and to discursively conduct institutional work. A critical discourse analysis of Zuckerberg’s testimony before the EU Parliament finds that prag-matic, moral, and cognitive legitimacy is signaled through corporate ability, responsibility, and conformity narratives, respectively. Moreover, Zuckerberg’s techno-libertarian talk advocates Silicon Valley ideology through utility narratives of artificial intelligence. Thus, Zuckerberg conducts institutional work as an institutional entrepreneur whose strategic communication seeks to manipulate views as well as institutions.

Abstract

Digital platforms are under public scrutiny and face a negotiation process regarding their social responsibility. In this institutional discourse about moral responsibilities, corporate actors aim at defending the legitimacy of digital platforms. This study conceptualizes strategic communication as a means for conveying conformity to legitimacy expectations, to shape legitimacy judgements, and to discursively conduct institutional work. A critical discourse analysis of Zuckerberg’s testimony before the EU Parliament finds that prag-matic, moral, and cognitive legitimacy is signaled through corporate ability, responsibility, and conformity narratives, respectively. Moreover, Zuckerberg’s techno-libertarian talk advocates Silicon Valley ideology through utility narratives of artificial intelligence. Thus, Zuckerberg conducts institutional work as an institutional entrepreneur whose strategic communication seeks to manipulate views as well as institutions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporate communications, corporate legitimacy, corporate social responsibility (CSR), digital platforms, Facebook, institutional work
Language:English
Date:8 July 2019
Deposited On:19 Jul 2019 10:26
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 20:22
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1553-118X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1553118X.2019.1613661

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