Local Identity Construction in Dialect Pop Music: Songs, Narratives, and Social Media Posts


  • L. Jongbloed-Faber


Social media use has gradually become intertwined with offline social life. Research that relates online identity work to identity performances in offline contexts is, however, scarce. Moreover, scholars have hardly addressed the use of regional/minority languages in identity work on social media, although their importance for identity construction has been recognised. This paper therefore examines the relationship between online identity construction and identity work in offline contexts of the Frisian dialect pop band De Hûnekop. The study compares language practices in songs, a live show, an interview, and social media posts. The results demonstrate that in all forms of communication, De Hûnekop construct local identities through the selection of linguistic forms associated with Frisian and through their choice of topics. De Hûnekop’s linguistic practices are often strategically motivated, depending on the context and which language variety will deliver maximum success. The research proves that identities are flexible, relational, and negotiated during interaction at all times.