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Beyond the "lulz" : audience engagement with political memes in the case of Indonesia

Hapsoro, Lestarini Saraswati LU (2018) MKVM13 20181
Media and Communication Studies
Abstract
This thesis explores the roles of Internet memes as a form of contemporary political discourse in Indonesia from the individual perspective of audience members. In-depth qualitative interviews with fourteen Indonesian young adults were conducted to understand the ways in which they engage and create meaning of political memes, allowing for a closer examination on the media’s potential for contribution to civic cultures. For a grounded analysis of their engagement, the research is based on two recent case studies in Indonesia where memes perform as distinctive modes of discourse: political dissent to challenge a figure of authority, Setya Novanto; and partisan opinions in the context of electoral politics during the 2017 Jakarta... (More)
This thesis explores the roles of Internet memes as a form of contemporary political discourse in Indonesia from the individual perspective of audience members. In-depth qualitative interviews with fourteen Indonesian young adults were conducted to understand the ways in which they engage and create meaning of political memes, allowing for a closer examination on the media’s potential for contribution to civic cultures. For a grounded analysis of their engagement, the research is based on two recent case studies in Indonesia where memes perform as distinctive modes of discourse: political dissent to challenge a figure of authority, Setya Novanto; and partisan opinions in the context of electoral politics during the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election campaign period, also known as Pilkada DKI.

In recent years, Internet memes have received growing scholarly interest and are treated as fundamental to the various aspects of contemporary digital culture. It is suggested that memes have broadened opportunities for political discourse among citizens in a democracy by extending political commentaries through accessible and inclusive means. In countries that are sensitive to dissent, political memes may help amplify the public voice, thereby empowering civic engagement.

However, the results from this study suggest a nuanced view of memes’ civic potentials. While the use of satire in political memes serves as an avenue to undermine the political elite, the media’s modes of discourse also prove to facilitate argument and antagonism. Especially in the case of election-memes, the empowering nature of the media was subject to challenge, as audiences indicate the likelihood for institutional influence to interfere with the discourse. As more opportunities and challenges are addressed, the findings further reveal the respondents’ active negotiations of self-positioning as meme audiences and citizens in the digital environment. This translates into dynamic forms of engagement that may subsequently foster or hinder their civic agency and citizenship in the nation’s democracy. (Less)
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author
Hapsoro, Lestarini Saraswati LU
supervisor
organization
course
MKVM13 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
audience engagement, citizenship, civic engagement, civic agency, civic cultures, democracy, election memes, Pilkada DKI, political memes, political discourse, political dissent, Setya Novanto
language
English
id
8946724
date added to LUP
2018-06-13 13:59:15
date last changed
2018-06-13 13:59:15
@misc{8946724,
  abstract     = {This thesis explores the roles of Internet memes as a form of contemporary political discourse in Indonesia from the individual perspective of audience members. In-depth qualitative interviews with fourteen Indonesian young adults were conducted to understand the ways in which they engage and create meaning of political memes, allowing for a closer examination on the media’s potential for contribution to civic cultures. For a grounded analysis of their engagement, the research is based on two recent case studies in Indonesia where memes perform as distinctive modes of discourse: political dissent to challenge a figure of authority, Setya Novanto; and partisan opinions in the context of electoral politics during the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election campaign period, also known as Pilkada DKI.

In recent years, Internet memes have received growing scholarly interest and are treated as fundamental to the various aspects of contemporary digital culture. It is suggested that memes have broadened opportunities for political discourse among citizens in a democracy by extending political commentaries through accessible and inclusive means. In countries that are sensitive to dissent, political memes may help amplify the public voice, thereby empowering civic engagement.

However, the results from this study suggest a nuanced view of memes’ civic potentials. While the use of satire in political memes serves as an avenue to undermine the political elite, the media’s modes of discourse also prove to facilitate argument and antagonism. Especially in the case of election-memes, the empowering nature of the media was subject to challenge, as audiences indicate the likelihood for institutional influence to interfere with the discourse. As more opportunities and challenges are addressed, the findings further reveal the respondents’ active negotiations of self-positioning as meme audiences and citizens in the digital environment. This translates into dynamic forms of engagement that may subsequently foster or hinder their civic agency and citizenship in the nation’s democracy.},
  author       = {Hapsoro, Lestarini Saraswati},
  keyword      = {audience engagement,citizenship,civic engagement,civic agency,civic cultures,democracy,election memes,Pilkada DKI,political memes,political discourse,political dissent,Setya Novanto},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Beyond the "lulz" : audience engagement with political memes in the case of Indonesia},
  year         = {2018},
}