“Going on Trial”: Teachers’ Team Performance in Social Media Groups When Facing Problematic Work-Related Issues

  • Louise PetersonEmail author
  • Annika Lantz-Andersson
  • Thomas Hillman
  • Mona Lundin
  • Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt


This study examines how a problematic work-related issue is raised in a large self-organized thematic professional Facebook group and how the topic is continued in the discussion that follows. Based on big data from a large corpus assembled through the Facebook Application Programming Interface, a unique case thread is selected for in-depth analysis. The aim is to analyse how social support is performed through professional identity work in moment-by-moment online interactions. The findings illustrate how the performance of social support in a thread includes both supportive and remedial interchanges that reveal emergent impression management and a mutually shaped professional teacher identity. Further, the findings indicate that member performance, generally relatively neutral in non-critical discussion threads, changes in relation to the problematic work-related issue in the post that challenges the collective identity of the group. This means that the interaction engenders cooperative and supportive interchanges that motivate members to perform as a team and cooperate as supportive team members.


Social media groups Teachers Facebook Social support Team performances 



This research is a part of a larger research project on teacher professional learning in social media funded by the Swedish Research Council Dnr 2014–2135 and conducted within the University of Gothenburg Learning and Media Technology Studio ( and the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise Peterson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Annika Lantz-Andersson
    • 1
  • Thomas Hillman
    • 1
  • Mona Lundin
    • 1
  • Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Education, Communication and LearningUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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