WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Thinking Transnationally Part 1

Posted by faythleighann on April 19, 2017

Tonight’s readings focused on an international audience that permits connections and ideas to formulate through media. In Ethan Zuckerman’s essay “From Weird to Wide”, focuses on the fundamental question “Why are some people wealthy and some people poor?” At first, I did not want to read this essay because at the first mention of the nightmare of a geographic novel Guns, Germs, and Steel, that I was forced to read my freshman year of high school. However, I continued reading and found the topic discussed an important question that I’ve had come up many times.

Through examples of others’ research, Zuckerman highlights theories on the answer to the problematic issue. After stating that the Internet is a way to connect these different people and get knowledge or humor or creativity, he gives an example through memes. We all know that memes are an important part of our culture. I am definitely guilty of spending like two hours on Instagram scrolling through random memes. Most of the time, memes are repeated pictures with edited captions that are completely “unconnected to the ideas of the original author”. Using meme tracking sites, it’s seen that some countries originate memes more than others or are more popular, whereas, some have no original memes at all. I found it so weird the example with Makmende in Kenya.

It for sure made me think about cross-cultural remixes and boundaries that the Internet still has even though everyone potentially has access to it. The end goal is to encourage people “to move from laughing at to laughing with, or from encounter to understanding”. Of course this comes with a hidden political agenda, as seen with the “Great Firewall”. The internet is meant to be public and accessible to build a global community.

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One Response to “Thinking Transnationally Part 1”

  1. The meme example was really one I can relate to because I frequently use Instagram and Twitter and they are full of memes. I would say I sometimes do the same thing you do with Instagram and draw the same conclusions from the memes. I do think about the cultural differences and which countries or even events that memes come from.

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