Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Memes as online graphic semiotic resources have developed into a globalized genre and a cultural form. The vernacularization of this global cultural form on Chinese social media is (literally, ‘facial expression’). Biaoqing is a phenomenon and a genre engendered by the development of information technology and growing accessibility to the internet. The most prominent features of Biaoqing on Chinese social media (cute, mischievous, decadent, dirty, violent) are spawned by and therefore reflect the structure of society. The ludic nature of Biaoqing enables them to serve as resources for new forms of communication, potential of reshaping existing social norms, the landscape of online culture, and culture and society at large. The results of this contribution constitute an invitation for a reimagination of the role of graphic semiotic signs and digital infrastructures in society, and a rethinking of theories for sociolinguistic research in a digital era.


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