You are here

How Memes Construct Realities Through Terministic Screens

Title: How Memes Construct Realities Through Terministic Screens.
Name(s): Khanam, Shaimaa, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Bachelor Thesis
Date Issued: 2018-04-27
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Internet memes are one of the latest developments in the image genre, growing directly out of the digital age. Andrew S. Ross and Damian J. Rivers, in 2017, analyzed how the 2016 election memes functioned to delegitimize the candidates that they represented. I am taking this idea one step further, positing that Internet memes not only delegitimize, but are an important way that identities are constructed for the individuals they depict. Thanks to the Internet, the distribution, circulation, and repetition of words, images, and other forms of communication are more readily available, and can happen on a much larger scale than communication prior to the digital age. Focusing on the 2016 election memes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, this work aims to study how the characteristics of a meme, combined with social media and the digital circulation, work together to construct realities for their viewers, and consequently, identities for the individuals they depict. To investigate this, I analyzed four sets of memes from this election cycle – two for each of the major party candidates – against Kenneth Burke’s theory on terministic screens, which suggests that reality is constructed through language in a process of selection, reflection, and deflection. I believe the same thing happens with images. Through analyzing these sets, I believe I have come to a better understanding of what identities were put forth by the images representing these individuals, and how those identities represent “the reality” of how people understood the candidates. I then explore what it means that these ideas were circulated via social media as memes.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1524871878_8c6e5841 (IID)
Keywords: Memes, Terministic screen, Construction of reality, Presidential candidates
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Khanam, S. (2018). How Memes Construct Realities Through Terministic Screens. Retrieved from