Exploring Visual Culture of COVID-19 Memes: Russian and Chinese Perspectives

Authors

  • Olga Smirnova Moscow State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51480/1899-5101.14.2(29).4

Keywords:

visual language, ethnic and cultural peculiarities, Chinese, Russian, cultural paradigm, digital memes, COVID-19

Abstract

The article explores COVID-19 related Internet memes and treats them as samples of creolized text in a study of the way ethnic and cultural peculiarities of memes are perceived by representatives of two radically different cultural paradigms: the Russians and Chinese. A survey is used as a method of the investigation. Russian and Chinese students, and visual arts experts evaluated Russian and Chinese COVID-19 memes according to several criteria concerning their content, verbal constituent element and visual characteristics. The study concluded that the social and culture-specific components mostly contribute to forming the opinion of the meme and its appreciation. Awareness of both the cultural background and the current social and nation-specific situation is required to decode a full amount of information contained in a meme. Equally important is the visual component in understanding the meme. Thus, the study contributes not only to studying event-specific memes but also broadens the scope of research on memes as a sample of visual culture.

Author Biography

Olga Smirnova, Moscow State University

Olga V. Smirnova, PhD, is Associate Professor, chair of Periodical Press Department at the Faculty of  Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. She is also co-editor in chief of “Gender and Media” science annual journal and chair of the Digital Divide Working Group in IAMCR.

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Published

2022-01-13

How to Cite

Smirnova, O. (2022). Exploring Visual Culture of COVID-19 Memes: Russian and Chinese Perspectives. Central European Journal of Communication, 14(2(29), 259-286. https://doi.org/10.51480/1899-5101.14.2(29).4

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Section

Scientific Papers