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The World Made MemePublic Conversations and Participatory Media$
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Ryan M. Milner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034999

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034999.001.0001

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Antagonism: Race, Gender, and Counterpublic Contestation

Antagonism: Race, Gender, and Counterpublic Contestation

(p.115) 4 Antagonism: Race, Gender, and Counterpublic Contestation
The World Made Meme

Ryan M. Milner

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the everyday antagonisms that are perpetuated through memetic participation, specifically regarding race and gender identities. However, it also argues that memetic participation can be employed for the counterpublic contestation of those same antagonisms. The memetic logics, grammar, and vernacular introduced in the first half of the book are tools employed for both silencing marginalization and vocal pushback of that marginalization. The nature of this counterpublic engagement is ambivalent though, given that memetic media are often fraught with ambiguous irony and ambivalent humor. Genuine antagonisms and marginalizations can thrive under the “just joking” frame. But—even in the midst of this ambivalent system—there is value to the agonistic counterpublic engagement occurring through memetic media. Voice exists, even in the midst of the tensions evident throughout this discussion.

Keywords:   Internet Memes, Memetics, Media Studies, Participatory Culture, Discourse Analysis

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