Spreadable Media, Citizens, and Participatory Culture : Uses and Effects of Political Internet Memes
|Other Titles:||Verbreitbare Medien, Bürger und die partizipative Gesellschaft : Nutzen und Wirkung von politischen Internet-Memen||Authors:||Leiser, Anne||Supervisor:||Odag , Özen||1. Expert:||Kappas, Arvid||2. Expert:||Krämer, Nicole||Abstract:||
Internet memes are increasingly visible in political contexts and are believed to be a tool for people to express opinions, values, and experiences in a digital public sphere. This research project was undertaken to learn more about Internet meme users by exploring the uses for Internet memes and the effects of Internet meme use in political settings. Across three studies, this dissertation thus presents an exploration of the political relevance of Internet meme use. The first study dealt with the central motives for using Internet memes, and the role that users attribute to political Internet memes. In a Delphi-method interview study with meme users (N=25), participants discussed why they seek out Internet memes. A qualitative content analysis revealed that political meme use is driven by an interplay of self-expression, social identity, and entertainment motives, and Internet memes are seen as an instrument for political engagement. To focus on the political attitudes and behaviors of meme users, the second study used an online survey (N=333) to assess the antecedents and consequences of political Internet meme use. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that the use of political Internet memes can be significantly predicted by political interest and by political meme efficacy, or the belief that memes are an efficacious political activity. Further, meme use significantly predicted higher levels of engagement in conventional and unconventional political activities, even when controlling for political interest. The third study was therefore aimed at uncovering mechanisms of possible mobilizing effects of political Internet meme use. In a controlled laboratory setting, participants (N=104) were randomly assigned into one of three conditions. Subsequent prosocial behavior tendencies were not found to differ across the conditions, although marginally significant interaction effects related to cost were found, along with a result related to a measure of selfish tendencies. Implications of the overall results and recommendations for future research are discussed.
|Keywords:||participatory culture; digitally networked participation; mobilization; social media; spreadable media; internet memes; user-generated content; uses and gratifications; moral licensing; slacktivism; mixed methods||Issue Date:||24-Jun-2019||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-00107495-14||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||FB8 Sozialwissenschaften|
|Appears in Collections:||Dissertationen|
checked on Sep 27, 2020
checked on Sep 27, 2020
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