Hashtag: On the new subjectivities that emerge through the language of social media

11 April 2021

Hashtag: On the new subjectivities that emerge through the language of social media

Image credit: Marc Nozell, 2018, Wikimedia Commons

Within digital vocabulary, the Hashtag introduces a new mode of communication, allowing for new ways of addressing others and expressing ourselves. Indeed, what has undoubtedly become a pervasive and commonplace linguistic gesture — an integral part of our expressive toolset — nonetheless marks an unprecedented mobilisation of the symbolic, at the crossroads of the singular and the collective, which inaugurates new forms of correspondence in time and space. The life of the hashtag within the #Metoo phenomenon sheds light on its strongest and most revolutionary function within the digital language. Let us take a look at the symbol that gave a voice to women all over the world, thereby redefining certain classical structures of speech and silence. It seems that some thresholds of unspeakability are receding, perhaps thanks to subjective representations, in favour of the new imaginary that emerged with this symbol.

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