Podium: Internet Memes as Argument Prompts
Roses are red, violets are blue, internet memes are arguments too
What is an argument? When exactly does someone argue? What is the role of the audience while the argument is formulated? In this paper, I have discussed two perspectives of argumentation: argument as a cognitive category and argument as a verbal practice. The distinction is an important one to make, because the former perspective implies that arguments invite a guided interpretation of a message whereas the latter perspective sees the argument as the message itself. As such, argumentation as a cognitive category enables multimodal media to be analyzed alongside traditional verbal propositions. I lend support to this cognitive stance, which I show via an argumentative analysis of two Internet Memes, using the framework proposed by van den Hoven & Schilperoord (2017) in their analysis of editorial cartoons. In doing so, this paper demonstrates that (1) Internet Memes can also be deliberately argumentative, and it is possible to analyze them systematically; (2) The model of van den Hoven & Schilperoord (2017) can have further applications in argumentation studies.
van den Hoven, P., & Schilperoord, J. (2017). Chapter 5. Perspective by incongruity: Visual argumentative meaning in editorial cartoons. In A. Tseronis & C. Forceville (Eds.), Argumentation in Context (Vol. 14, pp. 138–164). John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/aic.14.06van