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EN MEME SÄGER MER ÄN TUSEN ORD: Memes som opinionsverktyg i onlinefeminismens händer
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
A MEME SAYS MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS : Memes as means of creating opinion in the hands of online feminism (English)
Abstract [en]

Drawing upon the opportunity that the Internet and social media provides anyone with internet access to create, consume, publish and produce digital content, this study aims to examine one of the new means of communication. In today’s digital society creating content and communicating across boarders is easier than ever, but actually getting the point across is not – with an evergrowing number of posts, users and sites there is a struggle close the gap between posting a message and actually having it noticed.

This study examines memes – normally seen as easily understood jokes – as means of accessible and simplistic communication by qualitatively examining fifteen feminist memes on Twitter. The study aims to see what the memes are conveying in means of social criticism and feminist orientations, their relation to the online feminist discourses and, lastly, explore the memes’ potential role in the political sphere.

The theoretical framework firstly explains memes in relation to Henry Jenkins’ participatory culture, Lawrence Lessig’s remix culture and relates memes to the political sphere based on both Limor Shifman’s meme theory and the two theories mentioned above. Secondly, first-, second- and third-wave feminism is introduced along with radical feminism and the feminist concept of sisterhood. Lastly, the social constructivism sets the groundwork for the study’s choice of method; critical discourse analysis.

The critical discourse analysis is used in a modified version along with the ‘verbal-visual unity’; a method designed to take the memes structure – the combination of text and images – into account. These methods are used to identify themes, connotations, modality, interdiscursivity, social criticism and the feminist orientation of the memes.

The result reveals that there are four main points of social criticism emphasized in the memes; regarding body norms, regarding belittling of women’s opinions and actions, regarding patriarchal structures and regarding men in general. The main feminist orientation visible in more than half the memes is radical feminism, while second-wave feminism is visible in a third. Meanwhile, the memes’ relation to the feminist discourses varies; smaller discourses have low levels of interdiscoursivity, while the main discourse for online feminism show high levels. The study shows that memes’ – potential – roles in the political sphere are as means of spreading opinion, as ways of constituting new norms in a new reality, and as means of shifting the structures of power in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 45
Keywords [en]
memes, feminism, online feminism, radical feminism, participatory culture, remix culture, social constructivism, critical discourse analysis, the political sphere
Keywords [sv]
memes, feminism, onlinefeminism, radikalfeminism, deltagarkultur, remixkultur, socialkonstruktivism, socialkonstruktionism, kritisk diskursanalys, den politiska sfären
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146671OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146671DiVA, id: diva2:1198198
Educational program
Programme in Media and Communication Studies: Strategic Communication
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-04-19 Created: 2018-04-16 Last updated: 2018-04-19Bibliographically approved

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EN MEME SÄGER MER ÄN TUSEN ORD(36896 kB)11 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
  • html
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