Popularization and Democratization of Knowledge through Blawgs


  • Patrizia Anesa University of Bergamo




English linguistics, legal language, metaphors, blogs, online discourse


The main aim of this study is to investigate the role of blawgs as a source of legal information both within and external to the epistemic law community and as a legitimizing tool for the many different voices which interact on a blawg. To this end, a corpus of twenty influential environmental blawgs has been compiled and analyzed qualitatively. The analysis focuses on how blawgs may contribute to the popularization and dissemination of knowledge in relation to environmental law. In particular, it is observed that explanations are aimed at a heterogeneous public and do not necessarily draw upon an underlying consensus. In this respect, attention is paid to the discursive practices employed and to how bloggers filter and distill the overwhelming volume of information available. Moreover, the role of metaphors is discussed and defined as having not only an ornamental or aesthetic function, but also a methodological and epistemic one. Within the debate over which blogs are seen as indisputable tools for the democratization of legal information or as threats to traditional legal scholarship, this paper ultimately argues for understanding blawgs as a complementary (rather than substitutive) arena for discussion.


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Articles (general section) - English language and linguistics