Read Memes in Digital Culture by Limor Shifman Online


Taking "Gangnam Style" seriously: what Internet memes can tell us about digital culture.In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded by creating and posting their own variations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASA Johnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and maTaking "Gangnam Style" seriously: what Internet memes can tell us about digital culture.In December 2012, the exuberant video "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube clip to be viewed more than one billion times. Thousands of its viewers responded by creating and posting their own variations of the video--"Mitt Romney Style," "NASA Johnson Style," "Egyptian Style," and many others. "Gangnam Style" (and its attendant parodies, imitations, and derivations) is one of the most famous examples of an Internet meme: a piece of digital content that spreads quickly around the web in various iterations and becomes a shared cultural experience. In this book, Limor Shifman investigates Internet memes and what they tell us about digital culture.Shifman discusses a series of well-known Internet memes -- including "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the 99 Percent." She offers a novel definition of Internet memes: digital content units with common characteristics, created with awareness of each other, and circulated, imitated, and transformed via the Internet by many users. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals successful; describes popular meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as agents of globalization.Memes, Shifman argues, encapsulate some of the most fundamental aspects of the Internet in general and of the participatory Web 2.0 culture in particular. Internet memes may be entertaining, but in this book Limor Shifman makes a compelling argument for taking them seriously....

Title : Memes in Digital Culture
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780262525435
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Memes in Digital Culture Reviews

  • Hadrian
    2019-03-15 17:14

    So what is a meme anyway? We all likely know Dawkins' definition of a meme as a shared cultural idea which spreads from person to person, but what about Internet memes? Shifman comes up with a more specific definition of internet memes: a unit of digital content, created with awareness of and in context with, other memes, and circulated around the Internet with multiple users. The discussion of these silly images is actually very productive, and Shifman takes care to describe various stock characters in memes, and their possible implications across national boundaries. She even takes care to distinguish between something 'viral', which is shared many times, versus 'memes', which involve a degree of further edits or modifications.Much in this book seems familiar, and it is, after all, only an introduction. But Shifman deserves credit for presenting some new ideas about memes in a clear and original way.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-22 10:16

    This is not loop quantum gravity, but it is still worth a read. It's a quick, incisive primer (But I'm not sure you'd want much more, unless you're an academic trying to butter your bread). Instead this book lays out some patterns and observations and says, go, look at the phenomena. It is provisional and aware of itself as such. Personal note: I'm interested in memes because of the attention-hold they have over my students. I am always looking for ways to tap such naturally occurring well-springs. This book provides an analytical approach to memetic patterns which can provide a broad range of applications, such as helping older or less digitally immersed individuals to use memes more effectively during presentations or providing engaging activities for learners (from the more conventional - create a literary meme which conveys an understanding of the original text- to the more radical - analyzing memetic content as deeply encoded language, through a qualitative close-reading of content, form and stance).Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, defining it as "small cultural units of transmission, analogous to genes, that spread from person to person by copying or imitation." This is a massively broad definition, and as such is limited as analytical tool. However, this idea has evolved quite a bit since that time. Limor Shifman's brief synthesis of various internet studies makes the meme's application to digital culture quite promising.

  • Masha
    2019-03-22 17:30

    nice meme ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  • Pete Welter
    2019-03-06 10:22

    Shifman takes a more expansive definition of memes than the original Richard Dawkins idea, focused more on memes that are created and communicated primarily through the broad reach of the Internet.Because this is a very young field, there isn't a large body of research, but Shifman brings current thinking (including his own research) on the topic, along with related work from people other fields together in this book. By giving the reader a multitude of perspectives on memes, and various ways of categorizing them, Shifman starts to give us the tools to think about the topic in a more formal way.I found two sections particularly fascinating: the differences between memes and virals - I had always sort of lumped them together in my mind - and a list of the 9 strongest influencers on whether an idea goes viral. The book is a pretty quick read - only 175 pages in a rather small form factor, and Shifman's style is what I would call "readable academic" - a notch more formal than most popular science books but not nearly as dry as a research paper.If you're like me and find yourself spending too much time on reddit, tumblr or 4chan, or even if you wonder why certain videos, pictures and stories keep showing up in your email box or Facebook feed, and you are interested in a more formal exploration of what you're experiencing, then I can recommend "Memes in Digital Culture."

  • Cmona
    2019-03-06 12:14

    The book provides a great introduction for research on the topic of Internet memes and digital culture. It presents many examples and is able to give you a good overview about what is popular in the Internet space and what motivates people to participate in the Internet society. I highly recommend the book.

  • Adam
    2019-03-16 18:21

    While I read this for a class, I quickly became invested in what Shifman had to say about memes. It's a fun, short read with well-explained theories. There is a lot that we can learn about ourselves as a culture by the memes we enjoy and choose to share.

  • Miriam
    2019-03-06 15:18

    Cรณmo hacer el meme perfecto: El libro.

  • Bex
    2019-03-20 15:23


  • Peb
    2019-03-16 15:19

    I got this book as a gift probably a week ago.The content itself was interesting, the book tries to expose the phenomena of idea imitation in the digital world. mentioning the similarities and differences with virality. The presentation, however, is too academic which makes it a bit less enjoyable to digest. Long paragraphs almost covering the whole page are what you expect from this book. Although in the beginning the author tries to formulate memes as a text, he keeps using videos as illustrative examples. I believe this is because the author did their research using videos from YouTube where it has search functionality of google and statistics to be used as measures. Only in the later half chapters the authors mentioned another form of memes such as character stocks and rage comics. later generations, or sites like 9gag are not yet covered in this book which is quite disappointing. One last thing is that the author keep using the same expression over and over again to emphasize the main chapter of this book: "In chapter 8 I (the author)..."

  • Scott
    2019-03-24 17:13

    This is an excellent introduction to memes and how to study them. It is scholarly, rigorous, and yet still accessible to anyone who is interested in memes.Its contributions are many. A few of my favorites:-It provides a typology that is useful for systematically studying memes-It distinguishes memes from virals-It increases the reader's level of meme literacy--truly important in a "hypermemetic culture" that places a large emphasis on understanding the codes and norms of memes-It explores the cultural, political, global, and communicative dimensions of memes-It draws on Shifman's own empirical research on the topic, as well as drawing in the insights from other important theorists on virality like Jenkins, Berger, Nahon, Hemsley, Wallsten, and others to name a few.I assigned this book to my graduate students in my class COMMS 622R: Attention in the Information Age. The book did not disappoint; in fact, it exhilarated us as a class. Highly recommended.

  • Kimm
    2019-02-27 13:16

    I wondered about Memes as soon as they took over Facebook. I tried to bring up "what are these pre-digested chunklets of meaning?" "why have people ditched speaking for themselves for these pixelated homilies"... Friends unfriended me, people got offended. I wondered once again if I had a mild case of Aspergers.Hence this book. I highly recommend it for a candid, honest look into why Memes often take the place of discourse in social networking. There are dozens of great memes, with links, and thought provoking discussions about why these macro-bits of culture are so beloved.

  • Margaret Sankey
    2019-03-10 16:26

    Useful and concise, this is a study of the phenomena of "memes," as Dawkins theorized before the internet and how they have evolved into worldwide communications. Shifman offers general categories, separates memes from viral videos, digs into the origins of "Star Wars Kid" and "Grumpy Cat" and tests which memes fare well as they cross languages and cultures. For someone in communications, this is basic stuff, but for a newbie, this is handy and has a great bibliography.

  • Nilendu Misra
    2019-03-12 18:18

    MIT essential knowledge series is succinct yet information dense. The books are produced to be read over a single session (think of a 90 minute lecture) and thus are much lighter than iPhone. This particular one on Meme is a perfect blend of theory and real life, with multiple examples often predating internet (Kilroy was here). Loved it!

  • Ben
    2019-02-23 12:11

    Academic discussion of internet memes. While there may be some meta-humor in seeing the likes of scumbag Steve discussed in this type of academic language, this book is a pretty dry treatment.

  • River
    2019-03-13 16:25

    This was a good introduction to both Internet memes and the academic study of this area. The writing was simultaneously engaging and easy-to-read.

  • Trisha
    2019-03-13 10:33

    The reason why I am reading very little fiction at the moment. *pouts*

  • Abbyg.
    2019-03-12 12:17

    excellent little primer/intro text!