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FRAGL 42: Humoristische Memes zum Thema ‚Balkan‘

— abgelegt unter:

Sara Berger



This paper deals with the Internet phenomenon of memes, analyzing the identity-forming effect of specific text-image connections for certain groups. The focus here is on the constitution of a 'Balkan' identity, which brings the countries of former Yugoslavia and their diaspora closer together in virtual space.
Memes mostly constitute a humorous context, often in combination with stereotyping, which is why the different functions of comedy and stereotypes play an important role. After an introduction to current meme research, I shall examine comedy and stereotype research. In further chapters, the mechanisms of identity formation, such as inclusion and exclusion, are also discussed and put into context.
In the empirical part of the work, examples from the Facebook page Balkan Memes will be analysed with the aim of showing that comedy is a suitable tool for identity formation and promotes the formation of common bonds, as people usually laugh about the same content. The use of humorous memes can bridge differences and also create a distance to one’s own experiences., for example by taking the global digital phenomenon and adapting it to community-specific jokes. Identity is usually created through inclusive processes, e.g. by addressing common traditions and patterns of behaviour, or by dissociating oneself from 'the others' who are not from the 'Balkans'. The comic devices that are visibly employed here are incongruence, exaggeration, surprise effects, and overdoing culture. The memes analysed below explicitly address an in-group or all those who wish to belong to it. This is particularly evident in the fact that many of the jokes cannot be understood without background knowledge.

Keywords: Memes, Identität, Identitätskonstitutionen im Internet, Komik, Balkan, Humorforschung, Interkulturalität



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