Stance-Taking in Nigerian Digital Communities: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Citizens’ Engagements on Biafra Agitations


African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships


Department of Languages


Biafra agitations in Nigeria have received scholarly attention from political, historical, economic, and sociological perspectives, yet there are not many linguistic studies on the agitations. This study, therefore, examines stance-taking in interactions about Biafra agitations within two Nigerian digital communities, namely, Nairaland and Nigeria Village Square. The study engages the appraisal framework (AF) together with the socio-cognitive and dialectical-relational approaches to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in its methodology. AF guides a critical analysis of evaluative language in the data and CDA is used to uncover the ideological orientations and discursive practices that inform varied positions about the Biafra situation, as well as the implicit meanings that are generated while interactants take stances. This study would illuminate the potential toxicity or benefits of the proliferation and distribution of stances about issues of national concern, especially when these are expressed on global platforms like the Internet.