Contemporary subjects, mediatization and socio-cultural practices
Keywords:mediatization, digital ethnography, discourse, subject, multimodality
This paper relies on digital ethnography as a methodological frame and addresses the cyberspace as a context for the research of social and discursive interactions. Mediatization is taken as a key concept for the investigation of cultural practices that involve digital technologies. The assumptions are supported by the study of the case of “Know your meme”, a website dedicated to find and document memes and viral phenomena. Grounded on a critical view of the interrelations between digital media, communication and society, it pinpoints remix and multimodality as two of the main stylistic resources employed in meaning-making processes. The analysis suggests that the contemporary subject resorts to digital media affordances and the immediateness of internet communication to create/share memes in response to offline events. It also considers that featuring memes as objects in a curator’s page turn these texts into social-cultural artifacts. Assuming a dialogic point of view, the discussion highlights that the cultural products created by subjects in discursive interactions both shape and are shaped by axiological positions. It also caters for the idea that the mediatized practices analyzed show that the boundaries between online and offline universes have being increasingly blurred in the current society.
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