The Pragmatics of Internet Memes
Chaoqun Xie | Zhejiang International Studies University
What is a meme? What is in a meme? What does ‘living in/with memes’ actually mean? What do memes mean to human beings dwelling in a life-world at once connected and fragmented by the internet and social media? Answers to and ways of answering these and other meme questions that arise in social events represent human assistance in or resistance to meaning making. A pragmatic perspective on internet memes as a way of seeing in social life experience offers a unique window on how meme matters in mediated (inter)actions turn out to be inextricably intertwined with human beings’ presencing and essencing in the life-world. Ultimately, this volume seeks to reveal what and how serious if not unsayable concerns can be concealed behind the seemingly humorous, carefree and colorful carnival of internet memes across cultures, contexts, genres and modalities. This book will be of some value to anyone keen on the dynamics of memes and internet pragmatics and on critical insights that can be garnered in kaleidoscopic multimodal communication. Originally published as special issue of Internet Pragmatics 3:2 (2020).
[Benjamins Current Topics, 120] 2022. v, 183 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Introduction: The pragmatics of internet memesChaoqun Xie | pp. 1–6
Internet memes we live by (and die by)Chaoqun Xie | pp. 7–35
Stylistic humor across modalitiesAnna Piata | pp. 36–63
Memes and the media narrativeBradley E. Wiggins | pp. 64–84
On the interaction of core and emergent common ground in Internet memesElke Diedrichsen | pp. 85–121
Exploring local meaning-making resourcesYaqian Jiang and Camilla Vásquez | pp. 122–144
Internet memes as multilayered re‑contextualization vehicles in lay-political online discourseMonika Kirner-Ludwig | pp. 145–181
Index | p. 183
“This volume is a stimulating addition to the study of internet memes, their discursive, transformative and emancipatory power, and their impact on social practices across genres and contexts. Eminent scholars build a rich picture of this fascinating discursive activity, representing a wide array of conceptualizations, such as multimodality, intertextuality, humorous incongruity, stance-taking, conventionalization and common ground. The book is a most welcome contribution to the growing body of research on internet pragmatics, and, in a wider sense, to socio-pragmatics in general.”
Elda Weizman, Bar-Ilan University
“In the fragmented communicative universe of the internet, memes are multimodal objects that uniquely reveal the dynamics of meaning-making: what must be kept constant, and what elements can users play around with creatively? Approaching this process from different angles, the contributors to this volume adduce essential pieces of the answer which should be of interest to pragmaticians in general.”
Jef Verschueren, University of Antwerp
“Most chapters in it benefit from an empirical corpus of internet memes to expand and operationalize a range of pragmatic notions such as humor, common ground, implicit/explicit meanings, and shared knowledge/common ground. Additionally, scholars with an interest in the emerging genres of digital communication will find many useful suggestions for future research throughout the volume.”
Erhan Aslan, University of Reading, in Corpus Pragmatics 6 (2022).
Cited by 1 other publications
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