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On a cross-cultural memescape: Switzerland through nation memes from within and from the outside

Dynel, Marta and Messerli, Thomas C.. (2020) On a cross-cultural memescape: Switzerland through nation memes from within and from the outside. Contrastive Pragmatics, 1 (1). pp. 1-32.

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Abstract

This paper offers a cross-cultural contrastive study of what we term 'nation memes'. These are humorous internet memes which refer to a particular country/nation. Our analysis of cultural scripts in memes related to Switzerland is based on a tripartite cor- pus of digital items shared by Polish, Swiss and international communities. By adopt- ing a grounded-theory approach, we examine the prevalent scripts that represent the Swiss and Switzerland from each of the three perspectives. The results of our qualita- tive study indicate that Swiss memes are based on experiential knowledge of life in Switzerland, as well as a few stereotypes adopted by the Swiss about their own nation. The Polish subcorpus addresses Switzerland from an outsider perspective by invok- ing well-known cultural scripts, similar to those on international websites, on which Polish users sometimes scavenge. However, the Polish memescape uses scripts about Switzerland to address problems and scripts specific to Poland. Importantly, nation memes do not necessarily involve humorous disparagement, i.e. they do not always take Switzerland/the Swiss to be the target at which to poke fun when building humor- ous superiority. Moreover, by referring to their own national vices, the Swiss and Poles sometimes use cultural scripts as the basis for self-deprecating humour.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > English Linguistics (Locher)
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:24 Jul 2020 15:50
Deposited On:24 Jul 2020 15:49

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