Shared, posted, tweeted, commented upon, and discussed online as well as off-line, internet memes represent a new genre of online communication, and an understanding of their production, dissemination, and implications in the real world enables an improved ability to navigate digital culture. This book explores cases of cultural, economic, and political critique levied by the purposeful production and consumption of internet memes. Often images, animated GIFs, or videos are remixed in such a way to incorporate intertextual references, quite frequently to popular culture, alongside a joke or critique of some aspect of the human experience. Ideology, semiotics, and intertextuality coalesce in the book’s argument that internet memes represent a new form of meaning-making, and the rapidity by which they are produced and spread underscores their importance.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Conceptual Voices 1. The Selfish Gene Revisited: Affordances and Constraints of Dawkins’ Meme 2. Internet Memes in Current and Future Academic Research 3. A New Genre of Online Communication Part 2: Application and Case Studies 4. Politics 5. Public Relations 6. Consumer Activism 7. Audiences Part 3: Historical Antecedents 8. Pre-Digital Memetic Counterparts 9. Remix Culture, Past-Present-Future Part 4: Coda 10. Why Memes Matter and Why They Will Remain Relevant
Dr. Bradley E. Wiggins is an associate professor and head of the media communications department at Webster Vienna Private University. His investigations of digital culture and discourse involve research on internet memes, social media, and fake news. Additional research includes game and simulation-based learning, intercultural and strategic communication.