Graduation Date

Fall 2023

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, emphasis in Applied English Studies

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Lisa Tremain

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Andrea Delgado

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Internet memes have become a part of everyday life as a way to participate in digital and online culture. The study of memes, known as memetics, have analyzed memes in many ways: for their political and social participation, for their multimodal presence, and their influence on online discourse. What has not yet been deeply studied are the ways memes participate in hegemonic and counter-hegemonic practices. This project aims to address this gap by investigating how hegemonic and counter-hegemonic practices show up in memes on feminism, and how those practices uphold or disrupt dominant narratives. Fifteen memes on feminism are analyzed to see how their imagery and language uphold or disrupt social, cultural, and political ideologies about feminism. This analysis reveals that not only do memes on feminism exhibit hegemonic and counter-hegemonic behaviors, but also that memes on feminism more generally adhere to racist and exclusionary tendencies in feminist ideologies that uphold heteronormativity and whiteness, further complicating the way memes and power are connected. Because memes can both engage in counter-hegemonic practice and uphold dominant narratives of feminist representation, this research implies that additional research is necessary to study the connection between memetics and hegemony. This research offers a starting point for discussing such connections.

Citation Style


Included in

Rhetoric Commons