Memes in Digital Culture (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

By Limor Shifman

In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam kind" turned the 1st YouTube clip to be seen multiple billion instances. millions of its audience replied by means of developing and posting their very own adaptations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASA Johnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and so forth. "Gangnam variety" (and its attendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is among the most famed examples of a web meme: a bit of electronic content material that spreads fast round the net in numerous iterations and turns into a shared cultural event. during this e-book, Limor Shifman investigates web memes and what they let us know approximately electronic tradition.

Shifman discusses a chain of famous net memes -- together with "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the ninety nine Percent." She deals a unique definition of net memes: electronic content material devices with universal features, created with expertise of one another, and circulated, imitated, and reworked through the net by means of many clients. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals profitable; describes renowned meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as brokers of globalization.

Memes, Shifman argues, encapsulate one of the most primary points of the web generally and of the participatory net 2.0 tradition specifically. web memes will be unique, yet during this e-book Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously.

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Nicholas John, “Sharing and net 2. zero: The Emergence of a Keyword,” New Media and Society (published on-line earlier than print, July three, 2012, doi: 9429. indb 179 8/19/13 4:03 PM 10. 1177/14614448124506). See additionally Nicholas John, “The Social Logics of Sharing,” verbal exchange assessment (forthcoming). three. Daniel Gilmore, “Another Brick within the Wall: Public house, visible Hegemonic Resistance, and the Physical/Digital Continuum,” conversation Theses, paper ninety one (MA thesis, Georgia country collage, 2012). four. Henrik Bjarneskans, Bjarne Grønnevik, and Anders Sandberg, “The Lifecycle of Memes” (1999), http://www.

W. Lance Bennett and Alexandra Segerberg, “The good judgment of Connective Action,” info, communique, and Society 15, no. five (2012): 739–768. four. Ryan Milner, “The international Made Meme: Discourse and identification in Participatory Media” (PhD diss. , collage of Kansas, 2012). five. Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld, own impact (Glencoe, IL: unfastened Press of Glencoe, 1955). 6. Travis Ridout, Erika Franklin Fowler, and John Branstetter, “Political advertisements within the twenty first Century: the increase of the YouTube advert” (paper awarded on the annual assembly of the yankee Political technology organization, Washington, DC, September 2–5, 2010), http://papers.

Still, it truly is nonetheless uncertain no matter if this public feedback could be translated to connective motion and genuine regime swap. during this bankruptcy, i've got supplied a picture of latest political memes in democratic and nondemocratic settings. To finish, i'll take a step again and evaluate web memes with predigital memes, comparable to political jokes within the former Soviet Union. Memes have continuously performed an incredible function as venues for expressing evaluations and subverting status quo, and during this basic experience there's not anything new of their most modern electronic incarnation.

A potential clarification can be culturerelated: many of the norms encoded within the joke—such as premarital sexual relationships—may be thought of wrong in Arab-speaking societies. This clarification was once corroborated a few 12 months once we entire our information assortment, whilst a brand new, Arabic model of the funny story began to propagate fast on the internet. The shaggy dog story used to be reframed as a letter written via a lady to her husband, who's a working laptop or computer programmer. whereas equipped at the similar comedian mechanism of juxtaposing marriage existence and pcs, it doesn't contain tricks at premarital intercourse and is saturated with references to Islamic customs.

It additionally promotes self-censorship, obliging directors of chat rooms, 144  ChapTER eight 9429. indb one hundred forty four 8/19/13 4:03 PM for example, to take away possibly objectionable content material. lately the govt justified such censorship as a part of the exercise to construct a “harmonious society. ” the concept that is linked to China’s present president, Hu Jintao, who makes use of it to explain the necessity for a socialist unified society in an age of transition. This coverage generated many different types of resistance. for example, Christopher Rea describes netizens who satirically bitch approximately “being harmonized” after their blogs or chat rooms were closed via govt censors.

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