“Sturdiest Safety Net:” Forming Collective Identity in Grad School through Memes [virtual]

Yasemin Beykont (Pennsylvania State University)

With the graduate programs’ responsibilities and challenges, students go through various problems with their mental health, social relations, and finding motivation. Therefore, they seek emotional and academic support, empathy, community, in other words, a cohort. This study aims to understand the role of internet memes in building graduate student cohort communication by looking at the common values in shared memes, the motivations to use those memes, and their impact on their lives. The study uses semi-structured interviews with a group of graduate students, textual analysis of collected memes from those participants, and researchers’ reflections to provide a comprehensive student narrative.

Part of 03-04 Memes, Humor, and Identity [hybrid], Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm