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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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Conversation: Cultural Participation and the Culture Industries

Conversation: Cultural Participation and the Culture Industries

(p.185) 6 Conversation: Cultural Participation and the Culture Industries
The World Made Meme

Ryan M. Milner

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that memetic participation complicates the culture industries that remain at the heart of public life. It assesses the ambivalent relationship between collective participation and individual expression, especially when age-old gatekeepers intertwine with new means of sharing information. It focuses on the complex relationship between collectivism, publicity, and fame in memetic media, as well as on concerns about commercialism and authenticity in a seemingly open media ecology. The tapestry of conversation afforded by memetic media is part new precedent and part established infrastructure. Memetic media intertwine with established culture industries; ambivalent network gatekeeping enables both restrictive commercial control of mediated participation and conversations open enough to cast doubts on the credibility of information. In this way, memetic media exhibit new potentials and old tensions.

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

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