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Title: A critical examination of ageism in memes and the role of meme factories
Authors: Lee, Si Yu
Hoh, Jasmon WT
Keywords: Social sciences::Mass media::Media studies
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Lee, S. Y. & Hoh, J. W. (2021). A critical examination of ageism in memes and the role of meme factories. New Media & Society.
Journal: New Media & Society
Abstract: Memes and meme factories are increasingly the new fronts for ageism online. To address the lack of studies exploring memetic expressions of ageism, this study utilized multimodal discourse analysis to analyze 98 image macros from five meme factories in Singapore. Expressions of ageism were consistently found in how the meme visually and discursively portrayed older adults, and three ageist themes of infantilization, barbarization, and fetishization were identified. Memes that infantilized older adults often portrayed them as immature and illiterate despite their age and emphasized their dependence on others. Memes that barbarized older adults portrayed them as being uncultured or having inferior cultural tastes, while memes that fetishized older adults positioned them as an object of sexual fetish. The intersections of ageism with sexism, classism, and racism were also noted. Practical implications of these findings were discussed, and several recommendations were offered for meme factories to reduce visual ageism.
ISSN: 1461-4448
DOI: 10.1177/14614448211047845
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). All rights reserved. This paper was published by SAGE in New Media & Society and is made available with permission of The Author(s).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Journal Articles

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