Memes In Digital Culture
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In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam Style" became the firstYouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded bycreating and posting their own variations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASAJohnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and many others. "Gangnam Style" (and itsattendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is one of the most famous examples of an Internetmeme: a piece of digital content that spreads quickly around the web in various iterations andbecomes a shared cultural experience. In this book, Limor Shifman investigates Internet memes andwhat they tell us about digital culture. Shifman discusses a series of well-knownInternet memes -- including "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats,Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the 99 Percent." She offers a noveldefinition of Internet memes: digital content units with common characteristics, created withawareness of each other, and circulated, imitated, and transformed via the Internet by many users.She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals successful; describespopular meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic andnondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as agents of globalization. Memes,Shifman argues, encapsulate some of the most fundamental aspects of the Internet in general and ofthe participatory Web 2.0 culture in particular. Internet memes may be entertaining, but in thisbook Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously.
List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 10/4/2013
Size: 5.00" wide x 6.75" long x 0.75" tall