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Memes as an ideological tool: The stance of the Spanish online newspapers regarding the Catalan Referendum and Catalan Regional Elections 2017

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The present article analyses the use of digital memes by the main Spanish newspapers taking the Catalan Referendum 1 October 2017 and the Catalan Regional Elections 21 December 2017 as a case study. Since these events took place, Spain is living a new wave of polarization, where the country is divided between those who support the Catalan goal of independence and those who protest against it. Therefore, Spanish Internet users have fervently positioned themselves for or against the Catalan pro-independence discourse, using humour as a weapon and, consequently, memes as the medium. These memes that have arisen can be labelled as pieces of anti-propagandistic critical discourse (ACD). Through a mixed quantitative-qualitative methodology, we propose to identify the features of the ACD in the memes about the Catalan independence that have been collected in the online edition of the main Spanish newspapers. In this way, our main goal is to point out memes as a powerful ideological tool for citizens and hence for the general media.
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Keywords: Catalonia; elections; ideology; memes; politics; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Spain 2: University of Seville, Spain

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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