Paper Title
The Emergence of Politicized Collective Identiity in Aljazeera Online News Commentaries Prior to The Arab Speing Revolutions: A Sociolinguistic Approach

The present study explores the psycho-social processes involved in developing politicized collective identity and its sociolinguistic manifestations in online news commentaries prior to the Arab Spring Revolutions. Drawing on contemporary theories of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, social identity and social action theories, politicized collective identity is conceptualized as consisting of three linguistically measurable variables; a) the posters’ tendency to foreground shared Arab identity, b) the consensus and debate over the topics discussed and c) the expression of shared grievances through the collaborative performance of face attacks and solidarity acts in the posting content. The data used are responses written to an article posted on the Al Jazeera news website describing the aftermath of the tragic suicide of the Tunisian Bouazizi. The study provides empirical evidence of the dynamic nature of the politicizing process of collective identities and the emerging collective identity narratives that vary according to the communities and sociopolitical context that cause them to emerge. Keywords - Discursive identity, politicized collective identity, face attacks, solidarity acts, Arab Spring, Al Jazeera website.