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Analysing Politics and Protest in Digital Popular Culture

Analysing Politics and Protest in Digital Popular Culture
A Multimodal Introduction

January 2021 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
A toolkit for analysing politics and activism in today’s digital media landscape, this engaging and practical resource helps students to understand how politics and protest are entwined with online popular culture, before providing a step-by-step guide in how to critically analyse this discourse themselves, via a multimodal approach. It includes:

  • Pedagogical features such as chapter objectives, chapter summaries, key concepts and further reading.
  • A well-rounded multimodal approach for analysis from all angles; from comments to images, video, audio and GIFs.
  • A range of engaging cases and examples: Youtube comments, memes, viral animations, mvideos, fan-made parodies and mash-ups -- often referring to Brexit or Donald Trump's presidency.
The author has referenced extremely up-to-date content extending right into the coronavirus pandemic, to cater for this quickly moving field.
Chapter 1: Introduction: Aims and key concepts
Chapter 2: Politics in the popular: A variety of perspectives
Chapter 3: Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies: Why this approach? How to do it?
Chapter 4: Analyzing online comments
Chapter 5: Analyzing memes
Chapter 6: Analyzing animations and mash ups
Chapter 7: Analyzing music videos
Chapter 8: Analyzing parodies
Chapter 9: Summary of our approach and findings

Fostering critical insight remains as important an educational goal as ever. This highly accessible and engaging book gives students the tools they need to uncover for themselves the hidden politics of today's digital infotainment labyrinth.

Theo van Leeuwen
University of Southern Denmark and University of New South Wales

This is the methods book I have been waiting for a very long time! Lyndon Way's Analysing Politics and Protest in Digital Popular Culture provides a very knowledgeable and accessible introduction to Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies.

Teaching qualitative and, in particular, critical methods works best using examples, and Way's book provides the examples I need to connect to my students' lifeworld and interests: YouTube comments, memes, mash ups, music videos and parodies related to a wide range of political protests and issues. With each illustrative (and often entertaining!) example, Way successively builds a very useful toolbox for conducting systematic, rigorous and transparent critical analysis of digital popular culture. The systematic integration of different communication modes - lexical, visual and audiovisual 'texts' - within one methodological approach is particularly helpful and convincing.

At the same time, Way also succeeds in summarizing the essential theoretical and methodological underpinnings of Critical Discourse Analysis; his book is an accessible introduction to students unfamiliar with the field, but also a very useful starting point for those aiming to brush up on their knowledge of critical theory and methods.

Nowadays, digital popular culture and politics are closely intertwined, and I do hope that this book will contribute to our better understanding of this by providing undergraduate and graduate students with the means to successfully analyze and tease out power relations and the political in the glittering world of popular culture. Finally, this book simply is an enjoyable read for all those interested in how digital popular culture is handling the current political turmoil of Brexit, Trump, racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw
Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Hamburg

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Lyndon Way

Lyndon C.S. Way (MA, PhD) is a lecturer in Communications and Media within the Discourse and Society research cluster at the University of Liverpool. Previously, he has lectured at five universities in the UK, Canada, Cyprus and Turkey, including Liverpool Hope University, Izmir University of Economics, the European University of Lefke, the University of Windsor and Concordia University. He has also held a large number of positions as a newsroom, music and media practitioner. More About Author

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