Semiotic Analysis of Mediatizing Memes as a Political Discursive Strategy

Author: Joseph P. Casibual Jr. (Western Mindanao State University)
Speaker: Joseph P. Casibual Jr.
Topic: Semiotics and semiology
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


This study addresses a communicational approach to internet memes, understanding them as devices that take place in the process of mediatization of society. It focuses on the discursive aspects involved in the production and reproduction of memes, which are re-signified through operations that involve deframing and reframing and that trigger interdiscursivity. This research analyzes the use of internet memes in the Philippine Politics field, specifically those that are against and politically contradictory to the present administration (the case of President Duterte). The main objective is to identify the discursive strategies and meanings, and the effects of these meanings or representation which are constructed through memes. A total of 20 randomly-selected memes were the corpora of the study, deconstructing the underlying semiotics which majority, are all aggressive indirect political statements and strategic mediatization that ridicules and satirizes the “Duterte Administration” for the undesirable qualities and practices which are in stark contrast with the Filipino definition of “Human Rights”. The analysis shows that Duterte is nothing different from a “devil”, “Trump” and a “propagator” of extrajudicial killings. These are the dominant associations given to him which are all spiteful in nature. This means that no matter who is the president or who sits in the seat, Filipinos will still have something to say and habitual complainers will still exist until the position is occupied and habituated.

Keywords: Semiotic Analysis, Mediatization, Political Memes