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Cadernos EBAPE.BR

versão On-line ISSN 1679-3951

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FREITAS, Grayci Kelli Alexandre de  e  LEAO, André Luiz Maranhão de Souza. Concerning face work in virtual brand communities: a case study of a virtual community of Coca Cola consumers. Cad. EBAPE.BR [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.1, pp. 181-201. ISSN 1679-3951.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-39512012000100012.

Changes experienced by society and people in fields such as communications, consumption and social organization, since the conception of modernity, have put in check many underlying concepts that help us understand people and their social relations, including consumption. We emphasize in this context the social interactions staged by people and the roads they follow on the development of their own selves. From a reality that makes mass use of the internet, the emergence of virtual communities is common, and we have chosen a Coca-Cola discussion group as a basis for understanding which face is developed by people when using brand signs as mediators in virtual interactions. For this purpose, we have adopted the notions of self and face-work as conceived by Goffman (2006), along with the brand concept as a symbolic dimension and a resource for social representation. From this theoretical framework, we follow the interpretative perspective of a netnographic case study using the analysis of functional speech. Along with these ontological-epistemological and methodological guidelines, we adopted the method developed by Leão (2007) to access face to face virtual interactions. Fourteen faces were identified. These are described through examples drawn from observations, which illustrate the researched brand's role in participants' interactional negotiation dynamics that characterize the face-work process. Contributions to the knowledge of the field and managerial implications are considered.

Palavras-chave : Brands; Virtual communities; Nethnografy; Face; Language.

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