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Memes in Political Communication

Memes play an important role in political communication, for example in election campaigns and controversial debates. Against the background of previous research on political memes (see below), a concrete example will be examined: for example, the controversy surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a judge at the US Supreme Constitutional Court in the fall of 2018. The qualification thesis will collect a meaningful sample of pro-Kavanaugh and anti-Kavanaugh memes and evaluate them with regard to their political messages (manual quantitative media content analysis). In addition, it will be examined which memes were particularly successful and on which social media they were shared.


Shifman, L. (2014). Memes in digital culture. MIT press essential knowledge series. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Martínez-Rolán, X., & Piñeiro-Otero, T. (2016). The use of memes in the discourse of political parties at Twitter: Analysis of the 2015 state of the nation debate. Communication & Society, 29(1) 145–159.

Graeff, E. (2015). Binders Full of Election Memes: Participatory Culture invades the 2012 U.S. Election. Retrieved from



Prof. Dr. Nicola Döring