Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blog 3- Reflection on Presentations of Religious Identity in Internet Memes

This week we are exploring how religious identity is presented and negotiated in digital culture.  In the class lecture we discussed identity as process where an individual develops capacity to grasp meaning about themselves and their position in everyday life. Online identities refers to the strategies individuals use to present their self-reflection in the digital environment by drawing on a variety of selected content, images,  symbols  to visualize their identity.  Religious identity focuses on how individual understand their relationship to a given religious or spiritual context and seek to express this in visual and verbal ways.

In this week’s blog you are asked to reflect on how the memes you are studying represent the religious identity of the specific group you are studying.  Attentions should be paid to the images, symbols and dominant ideas that are spotlighted in these memes and how these highlight certain dominant characteristics or assumptions of this religious community.

Please respond to ONE of the following questions:

-What are the common and prominent images or symbols highlighted in these meme that are highlight as key markers of this religious group?


-Are there certain ideas that are accentuated in these memes that speak to the perceived beliefs of this community?


After you share your observations, please answer BOTH of the following questions:

-Why do you think these are highlighted in these memes? What messages are being communicated by the ways these are presented?

-How do your observations relate to claims about how religious identity is presented and negotiated in digital culture as express in the class lecture and readings this week?

Happy blogging!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Blog 2-Considering how memes present features of religion

In you second blog post you are being asked to focus your attention and offer some initial reflections on how the specific religious group you are studying is being framed by the memes you have chosen to analyze.  Your analysis should come from a sample of 4 memes, the two you identified in your initial post and two new ones selected this week and posted below.

In blog two, begin by offering a 2-3 sentence description of the strategy you are using to select memes for study?  Where are you gathering these memes from?  What criteria are you using for selection?  How do these kinds of memes help you address your specific research theme ?
Nest turn your attention to our class discussion regarding  the three key characteristics of religion we are focusing on. As previously stated we see religion as (1) based on a specific notion of transcendence or the divine, (2) this creates a set of myths that establish key truths or belief they seek to live by, and (3) these beliefs are lived out through a set of connected cultural practices also described as rituals.  This week you are asked to describe what messages about notions of transcendence, beliefs and practice are featured in your memes. 
Your analysis should address at least 3 following questions.
- What seems to be the central understanding of this religion or where to members seem to derive their meaning?  
- What messages do your memes communicate about the belief system  you are studying?
-Which specific beliefs and/or practices are highlighted?
-Why do you think these are being emphasized?
-What kind of humor is used in these memes and how does that influence the framing of religion in your memes?

After sharing your detailed response to these questions please sum up your analysis of how religion  you see is being presented in your case study in general in one or two sentences.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blogging About Memes in COMM 480-Fall 2017

In the Fall 2017 Religious Communication class we will spending the second half of the semester exploring the topic of Tolerance and Incivility in Religious Internet Memes. Each student will engage in an independent research study on how a specific religious tradition (outside their own) is portrayed through a set of Internet memes. This is done order to analyze how religion may be presented and framed within digital culture.

As part of this assignment each student will set up an individual blog focused on their particular case study.  Students are expected to post at least once a week from weeks 7-11. This is a pass/fail assignment. Posts should be at least 300 words in length, link to assigned question and course readings, highlight concrete examples with hyperlinks. All posts are due by noon on Friday of the corresponding week to receive full credit.

Your first blog post should clearly identify and describe your chosen case study related to topic of Tolerance and Incivility in Religious Internet Memes. It should state which religious tradition you will explore and what assumptions about this religion you want to focus on. Please explain your rationale for selecting this case study topic and what issues of religious understanding/stereotypes you wish to explore through this study.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Atheist Meme Base: Summary Meme

For this entry, I will be sharing a meme I have created that generally summarizes the messages and ideas presented by the meme sample and community I have been studying.

As stated in my first entry, I have noticed that the Atheist Meme Base community of Facebook regularly uses science to debunk or highlight contradictions in the Christian faith and in the Bible. I later narrowed my sample group down to memes that either pointed to contradictions in the Christian faith (in the Bible or in lived religion) or that use science to dispute Christian beliefs. I created this meme because it references the idea that Christianity ignores logic and science, which leads to it often contradicting these two areas. My meme also uses the forms of referential and phatic communication seen in my meme sample to provoke communication within their community and the outside world (basically, with any and all readers of the memes). This summary meme also highlights the irony of contradiction and uses this incongruity to create humor as demonstrated by the memes displayed by the Atheist Meme Base community.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Final Meme Blog: Reading Religion in Memes

For your final meme blog you are tasked with two reflections.

First you are asked to create a meme that summarize your key findings related to what messages and ideas about religion your study of  Internet memes has revealed. Your meme should express in a succinct how your specific case study frames popular understandings about religion or the specific religious community under study.  You should post your meme and then offer a 150-200 word explanation of what your summary meme seeks to express.

Second you are asked to compare your findings with one or two similar case studies from among your classmates to reflect on to what extent your findings echo or contrast their own and why you think this is so. This portion of the post should be 100-200 words and provide concrete examples/explanations to back up your claims.

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blog 5-How Memes Frame Religion

This week you are asked to reflect on the success strategies share in chapter 6 regarding what features and traits memes able to be reproduced, spread and easily repackaged.  On page 95 Shifman provides and overview of what those key features are. Select and discuss 2 or 3 of these traits and how they frame ideas about religion in your memes.

Also Consider the different genre's of memes Shifman outlines in Chapter 7. To what extent does your meme collection correspond to one of these genres.  If you were to identify a new genre of specifically religious memes what would it be. Share this new genre name and definition and how this communicate certain beliefs or assumptions about religion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blog 4-Analyzing Rhetorical & Memetic Techniques in Memes

In this week we focus our reflection reflect on the rhetorical and textual elements of the memes under investigation, with special attention being paid to how key symbols, shared ideas and beliefs about religion are presented in your meme sample.

Your blog  post should related to the principals discussed in Chapters  5 & 6  of Shifman's  Memes in Digital Culture and the reflection activities from this week's meme research workshop.   Specifically you are asked to respond to the following questions:

What common key symbols, shared ideas and values/beliefs that your memes focus on?

What are the dominant features of memetic and viral culture, employed by your meme sample?

What are the dominant forms of humor used in your memes?

How does that impact how religion and religious ideas/beliefs are framed?

Again, please highlight and describe three representative memes that express and illustrate these principals and the argument you are trying to make