MEME AS IDEOLOGICAL REPRESENTATION IN THE 2019 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS IN NIGERIA

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MEME AS IDEOLOGICAL REPRESENTATION IN THE 2019 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS IN NIGERIA

Abstract

This paper explicates the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of ideological representation in selected Nigerian political campaign advertisement memes on Instagram. Four memes pertaining to each of Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaigns on Instagram were selected and analysed using a combination of Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) Social Semiotics and van Dijk’s (1998) Critical Discourse Analysis. Key ideological stances of positive self-presentation and negative otherpresentation were discovered in the memes and the aspirants largely deployed both stances. However, while aspirant Muhammadu Buhari maintained the positive selfpresentation strategy for continuity of government, aspirant Atiku Abubakar concentrated more on the negative other-presentation in order to undermine the incumbent candidate/ party. All these were achieved with the reinforcement of social semiotic resources such as the meta-functions: facial and body gestures/expressions, and bright colours.

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