Internet Memes and Society: Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Internet Memes and Society

Social, Cultural, and Political Contexts, 1st Edition

By Anastasia Denisova


204 pages | 50 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138602786
pub: 2019-03-26
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This book provides a solid, encompassing definition of Internet memes, exploring both the common features of memes around the globe and their particular regional traits. It identifies and explains the roles that these viral texts play in Internet communication: cultural, social and political implications; significance for self-representation and identity formation; promotion of alternative opinion or trending interpretation; and subversive and resistant power in relation to professional media, propaganda, and traditional and digital political campaigning. It also offers unique comparative case studies of Internet memes in Russia and the United States.


'Anastasia Denisova offers outstanding scholarship on meme creation and digital activism in the form of memes as tools of dissent. In this work we get an innovatibe approach on understanding memes as discursive weapons, solidarity-building and as carnivalesque. For those interested in political resistance and the use of digital means in authoritarian and increasingly censored digital networks, the author breaks new ground establising excellent scholarship in this new area of study.' --Athina Karatzogianni, University of Leicester, UK

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Definition and Evolution of the Concept of Memes

From biology to media studies: how the theory of memes developed

Chapter 2. Before Memes: Tactical Media, Humour and Affective Engagement with Politics Online

Historical perspectives on the developments that paved the way to the proliferation of memes. Alternative media and tactical uses of humour

Chapter 3. Many Uses of Memes: From Fast-Food Media to Political Mindbombs

How memes become political and spark a carnival of resistance


Chapter 4. Globalisation and memes

Uses and roles of memes in various political and media contexts: in the West and beyond


Chapter 5. Russian Resistance and Propaganda Through Memes in the 2010s

Russian society and the media: content of the 2010s. Memes as Tools of Propaganda, Dissent and Alternative Digital Activism in the Russian-language Twitter: results of the analysis. Meme Metamorphosis. How Memes Mutate and Change Sides while They Travel.


Chapter 6. US memes on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2017

Beyond nation borders: why and how digital publics employ memes to discuss the values of American politics








About the Author

Anastasia Denisova is Lecturer in Journalism at the Communication and Media Research Institute at the University of Westminster, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Internationalizing Media Studies

Through publishing comparative and region-specific studies, this series aims to bring Asian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern media and cultural studies scholarship to the English speaking world and--in addition-- to promote cutting edge research on the globalization of media, culture, and communication.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
COMPUTERS / Social Aspects / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Media & Internet
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies