Article in:Internet Pragmatics: Online-First Articles
Days of our ‘quarantined’ lives
Multimodal humour in COVID-19 internet memes
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many users around the world exploited internet memes as a digital source of humour to cope with the negative psychological effects of quarantining. Drawing on multimodal discourse analysis, this study investigates a set of COVID-19 internet memes to explore the quarantine activities and routines to understand ordinary people’s mindsets, anxieties and emotional narratives surrounding self-isolation as well as the pragmatically generated humorous meanings relying on verbal and visual components of memes. The findings revealed that quarantine humour is centred around themes including quarantine day comparisons focusing on the perceived effects of home quarantines on physical and mental well-being, quarantine routines, and physical appearance predictions at the end of quarantine. Intertextuality was a productive resource establishing connections between quarantine practices and popular texts. In addition, humorous meanings were created through anomalous juxtapositions of different texts and incongruity resolution is largely dependent on the combined meanings of verbal and visual components.
- 2.Humour as a coping mechanism at times of crisis
- 3.Internet memes and humour
- 4.Coping with COVID-19 via memetic humour
- 6.Analysis and findings
- 6.1Quarantine day X
- 6.2Quarantine routines
- 6.3Coming out of quarantine
- 7.Discussion and conclusion
Published online: 18 October 2021
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