Thursday, November 3, 2016

Blog 4 - Authority Online

Religious authority can be defined through hierarchy/roles (priests, rabbis), structure (denominations), ideologies (faith beliefs and shared identities) or texts (Torah, the Bible, etc.). These different definitions of authority can also be used to frame authoritative religious figures/ideals online.

The two photos below share a similar theme, alluding to the Republican/Conservative view that all people should work towards success and should not be given handouts.

Jesus is the clear source of authority in these photos and is referred to both implicitly and explicitly. The meme creator references Jesus explicitly because He is clearly depicted as a leader in these photos. He is also referenced implicitly because, through the clearly important presence he holds in the photos, viewers of the meme can infer that Jesus often times offers words of advice and encouragement to his many loyal followers.

Jesus as a source of authority emerges from offline context through the meme creator pulling from direct biblical references. This is shown in several books (for example, Matthew, Luke and Mark) when Jesus speaks to the masses and gives them advice.

I feel as though there are two types of logic taking place through these photos.
1)                     Logic of Disjuncture and Displacement - these photos definitely "disturb the status quo" by taking a sacred biblical reference (not to mention a sacred biblical figure aka Jesus) and turning it something negative
2)                    Logic of Dialectics and Paradox - because the internet "creates conflicting tensions" by taking something very special and challenging the value behind it.

The way Jesus is framed as an authority figure through these photos further employs the idea that the creator behind these memes has the intention of promoting a negative perception of Conservatism/Republicanism. By using Jesus to discuss current social/economic/political issues, the meme creator directly influences the current election in order to sway the public’s votes.

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