Social Media, the Folk, and Bizarre Stories of Nova Scotia

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Matthew Hayes
Lachlan MacKinnon


This essay recounts a number of so-called “bizarre” news reports from Nova Scotia, and the reactions to them on social media, as a means of exploring the fruitfulness of a digital history approach to regionalism and the idea of the provincial “Folk.” Such stories might be considered a contemporary manifestation of the Folk - albeit one that is presented through a digital medium that creates opportunities for cultural producers and consumers to enter into conversation about the style, context, and meaning of such representations. The essay is exploratory and offers some tentative conclusions - particularly that the phenomenon of "bizarre" news reports from the province is very heavily affected by class conflict, but that social media allows a new generation of cultural producers the means to talk back to Folk representations of Nova Scotia. However, the essay is largely concerned with making a connection between media studies of what has been called “convergence culture” and more traditional studies of Atlantic Canadian society and culture.

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