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The Meme Radar

Adriaans, Rik; Kallius, Annastiina; (2022) The Meme Radar. Cultural Anthropology , 37 (4) pp. 679-706. 10.14506/ca37.4.04. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines the social media practices through which young Hungarians deliberate the workings of truth and the meanings of liberalism under Viktor Orbán’s authoritarian regime. Noting similarities between ubiquitous government propaganda billboards and the aesthetics of parodic social media content, these youth increasingly perceive everyday situations as internet memes. Navigating generational differences, class antagonisms, and rural-urban divisions, for them, seeing the world as a meme anchors the youth’s sense of truth and untruth and liberal identity in a polarized political field. We trace the everyday practices of montage through which conspiratorial billboard campaigns and the parodic forms of internet memes become linked, and observe how the visual, visceral, and networked sensibilities of meme culture help neutralize illiberal propaganda by turning it into a source of the self.

Type: Article
Title: The Meme Radar
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14506/ca37.4.04
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14506/ca37.4.04
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159581
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