A Critical Analysis of Transgressive User-Generated Images and Memes and Their Portrayal of Dominant Political Discourses During Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections

  • Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam


During the 2015 General Election in Nigeria, satirical images and memes were disseminated across social media, comprising both real life and cartooned images of mainly the two key presidential election aspirants. This research, firstly through semiotic analysis, deconstructs the meanings embedded within the images, and maps how they shaped discourses during the election and possibly after it. Secondly, through focus group interviews, the study explores the dominant readings given to the images and how much they influenced people’s opinions regarding the electoral process and its key actors. The study extends understanding of political communication by providing a more nuanced overview of how we may attach meanings to transgressive, user-generated political memes that had the potential to ‘take a life of their own’ and to generate polysemic meanings.


Political satire Elections Nigeria Social media Political agency Political communication 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Film and Media StudiesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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