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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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Voice: Pop and Populism in Public Commentary

Voice: Pop and Populism in Public Commentary

Chapter:
(p.151) 5 Voice: Pop and Populism in Public Commentary
Source:
The World Made Meme
Author(s):

Ryan M. Milner

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034999.003.0006

This chapter argues that memetic media carry the potential for polyvocal public voice, even given their everyday antagonisms. Focusing on mediated conversations surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement, it addresses tensions between populism and pastiche when popular culture is part of public commentary. Vernacular creativity can be utilized for collective civic talk, as participants create, circulate, and transform memetic media in the name of critique, discussion, and argument. Memetic logics, grammar, and vernacular underscore a system of assertion and response, of point and counter-point as public participants contribute their expressive strands to vast public debates. Even if individual contributions are ambivalent and factionist, memetic media can indeed facilitate vibrant polyvocal participation, and our public conversations are stronger when they do.

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

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