By any memes necessary? Small political acts, incidental exposure and memes during the 2017 UK general election



McLoughlin, Liam and Southern, Rosalynd ORCID: 0000-0002-5031-5428
(2020) By any memes necessary? Small political acts, incidental exposure and memes during the 2017 UK general election. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

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Abstract

Following the 2017 UK general election, there was much debate about the so-called ‘youthquake’, or increase in youth turnout (YouGov). Some journalists claimed it was the ‘. . . memes wot won it’. This article seeks to understand the role of memes during political campaigns. Combining meta-data and content analysis, this article aims to answer three questions. First, who creates political memes? Second, what is the level of engagement with political memes and who engages with them? Finally, can any meaningful political information be derived from memes? The findings here suggest that by far the most common producers of memes were citizens suggesting that memes may be a form of citizen-initiated political participation. There was a high level of engagement with memes with almost half a million shares in our sample. However, the level of policy information in memes was low suggesting they are unlikely to increase political knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Election campaigns, Facebook, Memes, Political communication, Political participation, Social media
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 08:38
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2021 11:58
DOI: 10.1177/1369148120930594
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3096371