Families and Networks of Internet Memes: The Relationship Between Cohesiveness, Uniqueness, and Quiddity Concreteness

Elad Segev, Asaf Nissenbaum, Nathan Stolero, Limor Shifman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study employs a large-scale quantitative analysis to reveal structural patterns of internet memes, focusing on 2 forces that bind them together: the quiddities of each meme family and the generic attributes of the broader memetic sphere. Using content and network analysis of 1013 meme instances (including videos, images, and text), we explore memes' prevalent quiddity types and generic features, and the ways in which they relate to each other. Our findings show that (a) higher cohesiveness of meme families is associated with a greater uniqueness of their generic attributes; and (b) the concreteness of meme quiddities is associated with cohesiveness and uniqueness. We discuss the implications of these findings to the understanding of internet memes and participatory culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-433
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Cohesiveness
  • Family resemblance
  • Internet memes
  • Network analysis
  • Uniqueness

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