“Justin Trudeau – I Don’t Know Her”: An Analysis of Leadership Memes of Justin Trudeau

Authors

  • Mireille Lalancette Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
  • Tamara A. Small

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2020v45n2a3445

Keywords:

Political internet memes, Leadership, Justin Trudeau, Content analysis / Mèmes politiques internet, Analyse de contenu

Abstract

Background An internet meme is a concept or idea that spreads online. This article focuses on memes chronicling Justin Trudeau’s leadership during his first year as prime minister.

Analysis By conceptualizing leadership memes and developing a methodology to analyze these memes, this empirical study reflects the approaches meme creators use, both visually and rhetorically, to convey political messages about leadership. 

Conclusion and implications The main purpose of Justin Trudeau memes is denunciation. Leadership memes present an alternative discourse of politics, outside of controlled channels of the politician and the traditional media. There is little work on leadership memes. This article contributes to the literature by not only focusing on Canadian politics but also by providing a method for studying leadership memes. 


Contexte Un mème Internet est un concept ou une idée qui se répand en ligne. Cet article porte sur les mèmes discutant du leadership de Justin Trudeau au cours de sa première année à titre de premier ministre.

Analyse Premièrement, en conceptualisant les mèmes du leadership et, deuxièmement, en élaborant une méthodologie pour analyser ces mèmes, cette étude empirique reflète les approches que les créateurs de mèmes utilisent, tant visuellement que rhétoriquement, pour transmettre des messages politiques sur le leadership. 

Conclusion et implications Le but principal des mèmes de Justin Trudeau est la dénonciation. Les mèmes du leadership présentent un discours politique alternatif, en dehors des canaux contrôlés de l’homme politique et des médias traditionnels. Il y a peu de travail sur les mèmes du leadership. Le présent document contribue à la documentation non seulement en mettant l’accent sur la politique canadienne, mais aussi en fournissant une méthode pour étudier les mèmes du leadership.

Author Biographies

Mireille Lalancette, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Mireille Lalancette (PhD, Université de Montréal) is currently professor in political communication at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. She has published about the construction of the mediatized image of politicians, gender, and representation, and has studied the use and impact of social media by citizens, grassroots organizations, and Canadian political actors. Researcher for the Groupe de recherche
en communication politique (GRCP), she is the author, with Marie-Josée Drolet and Marie-Ève Caty, of the ABC de l’argumentation pour les professionnels de la santé ou toute autre personne qui souhaite convaincre (PUQ). She is also the co-editor of What’s #Trending in Canadian Politics? Understanding Transformations in Power, Media, and the Public Sphere (UBC Press with Vincent Raynauld and Erin Crandall). Her work has been published in Canadian and international research publications in French and in English. She is the primary investigator on the SSHRC funded project about digital media, social acceptability and controversies.

Tamara A. Small

Tamara A. Small (PhD, Queen’s University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph. In 2018, she held the Fulbright Visiting Chair at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests focus is digital politics: use and impact of the Internet by Canadian political actors. In addition to conducting research on e-campaigning in the last five Canadian federal elections, she has published work on political memes and on the regulatory framework for digital technologies in Canadian elections. She is the co-author of Fighting for Votes: Parties, the Media and Voters in an Ontario Election (UBC Press) and the co-editor of Political Communication in Canada:
Meet the Press, Tweet the Rest (UBC Press) and Mind the Gaps: Canadian Perspectives on Gender and Politics (Fernwood Press). Her work has been published in the Information Communication and Society, Party Politics and the Canadian Journal of Political Science. She is the primary investigator on the SSHRC funded project called Digital Campaigning in Canada: A Comparative Study.

Published

2020-07-06

Issue

Section

Articles