Political memes and Perceptions: A study on memes as a tool of political communication in the Indian context
Keywords:Internet Meme, Political communication, India, Perception of Audience
The word ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book ‘The Selfish Gene,’ as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads. A meme acts as a unit to carry cultural ideas, symbols or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena within a mimic theme.
Memes started on the Internet in 1996 with the first-ever viral sensation of a baby dancing on ‘cha-cha-cha’ ( 3D dancing baby). With its growing popularity, it has become a means of influencing the mindsets of people who view, follow and share these memes. Memes have a potential to focus on real-world issues which when consumed by a user influences them to share it further thus leading to its large consumption. Memes can be denoted as; ‘Amplification by Simplification’ which basically mean they have a potential to condense a complex political fact into a powerful, brief and an effective way which engages a large audience. Hence, it is becoming a powerful tool for communication.
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