Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Litere și Arte
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11 / 2018
Also for Non-Voters: Political Memes
Media language is the most common analyis subject when political discourses are being explored empirically. The present article is dedicated however to a less discussed domain, namely the internet memes and their public critique potential. Internet mems are creatively-playful, hyperbolic and oftentimes very bold texts consisting of linguistic and visual elements, whose inventory (phrases and motives) operates with modifications—on the level of the expectable, as well. The content variation, which touches in an ironical-sarcastic manner on current incidents, socially relevant topics and affirmations of public figures, illustrates how individual messages conveyed over suggestive visual elements linked to a concise and incisive phrase can be associated with political relevance. The subject matter focuses on humour as a form of resistance and on the plurimodal character of memes as a means of challenging and criticizing political adversaries and their argumentation weaknesses. The ridicule aimed at the mighty has subversive potential, which in internet memes is encoded transnationally and transculturally.
Keywords: political discourse, (Internet) memes, plurimodality, public communication, political realities critique