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A funny thing happened on the way from the forum: the life and death of internet memes.
Husted, Ursula Murray (2012)
 

Title 
A funny thing happened on the way from the forum: the life and death of internet memes.

Issue Date
2012-08

Type
Thesis or Dissertation

Abstract
Memetics, the study and exploration of memes, seeks to apply an evolutionary metaphor to cultural information transfer. Under Memetics, the path of single unit of information (a meme) is compared to the replicating and mutating behavior of a gene. A meme is cultural object such as a song, a religion, a word, or an idea that replicates through a population. Cultural information transfer occurs when memes are passed from one group to another group. This dissertation interviews meme authors and analyzes the lifecycles of three memes. Memetic analysis is used to chart the life cycle of the memes Cat Macros, Rickrolling, and Battletoads and the model of Schudson’s Symbol Potency is applied to interview data of the meme authors to determine the efficacy of the memes’ retention in culture. A model is also developed for cultural meme transference based on the behavior of the ocean ecosystem. Through examination of meme artifacts and interviews with forum members this dissertation adds to the growing body of literature about the lifecycle of memes, visual analysis of cultural objects, and internet subcultures.

Appears in Collection(s)
Dissertations [4014]

Description
University of Minnesota Ph.D dissertation. August 2012. Major: Design. Advisor: Dr. Barbara Martinson. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 194 pages, appendices A-B.

Suggested Citation
Husted, Ursula Murray. (2012). A funny thing happened on the way from the forum: the life and death of internet memes.. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://purl.umn.edu/137171.


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