A Laugh Riot: Photoshopping as Vernacular Discursive Practice

Andrew M. Peck



This essay examines “photoshopping” as an important emerging genre of vernacular practice on the Internet. By sharing digitally altered images across networks, users engage in a vernacular process that creates and participates in discourses concerning shared expectations and communal values. To demonstrate this process, this essay analyzes how photoshopping was used as a response to the pepper-spraying of a group of peaceful protesters on theUniversityofCalifornia,Davis, campus. Enabled by the affordances of networked communication, this essay argues that photoshopping represents a powerful new form of vernacular expression for the digital age.



Internet; Meme; Pepper Spray Cop; Photoshop; Vernacular Discourse; Visual Rhetoric

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