OBJECTIVES Verbal Violence as Space of Social Identity Affirmation

O.1. The study of the different aggression/violence manifestations in ordinary language occurring in school environment: direct (insults, swear words, obscenities, offenses, nicknames, ironies) vs. indirect (gossip) between schoolmates, or between pupils and teachers, in a school context (in teaching activity) vs. informal context (communication during school breaks), at different age levels: from pre-school (kindergarten) to adolescence (high-school), in Romanian education institutions, and, if possible, in French/Belgian ones.
O.1.1. The identification of aggressive/violent manifestations in this corpus.
O.1.2. The analysis of the linguistic and discursive mechanisms of production and functioning of these manifestations in connection to the construction vs. deconstruction of a social identity

O.2. The study of the different manifestations of verbal aggression/violence in the media (Internet).
O.2.1. The identification of verbal aggression/violence in this corpus.
O.2.2. The analysis of the linguistic and discursive mechanisms of production and functioning of these manifestations in connection to the construction vs. deconstruction of a social identity, with focus on: a) The manifestation of verbal violence in certain areas of social networking that have a strong impact on the community of internet users, with special reference to two intensely used channels: YouTube and Facebook, respectively the case of blogging. b) The practice of trolling: initiating a conversation or appealing to ironic comments in order to create tension, stress and online aggressive debates. c) The practice of cyberbulling: a form of intentional and hostile online harassment of an individual or a group of individuals, via e-mail, chat or social network (verbal assaults, rumour, embarrassing photos). d) The practice of flaming: another popular method of provoking hostility or conflictual verbal exchanges in some online discussions (in group discussions, on blogs), by proposing some taboo subjects such as: the 9/11 attacks, religion, politics, sexual discrimination. e) Contests of swear words on interactive sites (like www.aforisme.ro), where the users are invited to post the most shocking insult and to appreciate them by voting (in favor or against) another users’ examples. From a metadiscursive usage of swear words, such contests degenerate into conflicts, where participants really insult each other.

O.3. The study of the different manifestations of verbal aggression/violence in literary discourse (drama, novel) from two perspectives: 13 a) an analysis, from a pragmatic perspective, of the conflicting interactions that are represented in drama or novels; speech acts with negative effects (menace, insult, swear words, invective, curse, incrimination, reproach, critique, command, interdiction, contradiction, denial, interruption, humiliation, intimidation), the violation of the norms of verbal interaction (speech turns), the use of an obscene, scatological language. b) On the other hand, we will analyze the verbal violence from the perspective of its role in the construction/deconstruction and re-construction of a social identity in the context of literary discourse, by focusing on the relation between logos and ethos (e.g. the role of insults in the construction of the discursive ethos). We will also ponder upon the creative function of the invectives and on the manner in which the verbal violence affects the aesthetic and social forms and boundaries in Romania and in France.

O.4. Organizing an interdisciplinary colloquium on verbal violence, with international participation, to ensure the visibility of our research project and to establish some profitable contacts for future collaborations within this domain. We will invite as members of the scientific committee and for the plenary presentations some of well-known specialists in the field of linguistic research on verbal violence. We will offer a wider approach of the theme of verbal violence, in order to illustrate this phenomenon in the Romanian environment as well from complementary perspectives: psychological, pedagogical, juridical, historical, anthropological etc. For the same purpose of dissemination, we set out to create a web page that will contain the description of the project, the ways in which the corpora can be accessed and the results of the analysis undertaken by the project’s team. (2) The establishment of a corpus integrating discursive manifestations of the verbal violence and aggression in Romanian will contribute to covering a gap (the absence of a representative corpus) and will offer the possibility of developing a French-Romanian comparative approach. The originality of our project will also consist in identifying the specificity of certain discursive practices with violent potential from the online space. These were not, or were very little analyzed, both in the national scientific literature, and in the French one (trolling, flaming, cyberbulling). Another original element of our project is the reference to the social and discursive component of the violence manifestations in the specific types of communication (school, online, literary), by referring to their role in the discursive construction vs. deconstruction of a social identity.