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Memes to Movements

How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A global exploration of the Internet meme as an agent of pop culture, politics, protest, and propaganda on and offline and how they will save or destroy us all.

Internet memes are one of today's most unexpectedly potent and creative forms, born of digital culture and - more and more - in dialogue with real life. A photo of protesters, for example, in Ferguson, Missouri, raising their hands in a gesture of resistance gets replicated 8,000 miles away in Hong Kong, where dissidents are fighting for voting rights. Or a viral video of a presidential candidate elect can become the impetus for an international march of women in pink "pussy hats", itself a viral meme come to life. In the long, winding road from Grumpy Cat photos, Internet memes have become a central concept of modern protest.

Using social media-driven movements as her guide, technologist and digital media scholar An Xiao Mina unpacks the mechanics of memes and how they operate to reinforce, amplify, and shape today's politics. She finds that the "silly" stuff of meme culture - the photo remixes, the selfies, the YouTube songs, and the pun-tastic hashtags - are fundamentally intertwined with how we find and affirm one another, direct attention to human rights and social justice issues, build narratives, and make culture. Crucially, she reveals how in parts of the world where public dissension is downright dangerous, memes can belie contentious political opinions that would incur drastic consequences if expressed outright. And further, she examines the future of Internet memes as tools in both antiauthoritarian progressive circles and government propaganda.

Memes to Movements unveils the transformative power of memes, for better and worse. In a time when our movements are growing more complex and open-ended, Mina brings a fresh and sharply innovative take on the media discourse.

©2019 An Xiao Mina (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Shows how memes are so much more than an internet phenomenon.... Incisive and illuminating.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“This is a thoughtful and engaging look at the complex role and power of memes in global politics and social movements and a worthy addition to media and internet studies collections.” (Booklist)

Memes to Movements is essential reading.... An’s work demonstrates why we should be taking [memes] seriously.” (Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too)

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So interesting!

Super fascinating!!! An in-depth look at some of the world's memes and how they are shaping and affecting real social movement. From Black Lives Matter to the Yellow Umbrella movement, this is an extremely interesting analysis of how memes are shaped by culture and then go on to affect culture itself. Definitely worth checking out if you have any interest in memes, how internet culture and irl culture interact, and the way that the world functions in a digital age.