Memes as culture repositories - social emotions during “Stay at home” phase in Poland from public health perspective




Memes, culture, COVID-19, stay-at-home, health communication


Aim. The main goal of the article is to obtain a socio-medical picture of COVID-19 pandemic from Polish Internet memes. Memes are part of a collective memory and could help one understand the ongoing social processes during the pandemic.

Methodology. We perform qualitative analysis of the selected memes shared on the Polish Internet. Among over 2000 gathered memes, 25 examples of memes were dedicated to #stayathome phase (18 March 2020 until 7 April 2020).

Results. We have distinguished three main topics, areas and functions: uncertainty and anxiety in everyday life; managing isolation and making sense of the safety measures; building support community and solidarity with medical staff. We found a relatively high number of supportive, pro-health memes during the stay-at-home phase in comparison to prepandemic era as well as other phases of the pandemic.

Conclusions. Memes go beyond the humorous function, as they also carry new information and give context to new situations or events. Thus, memospheres should be monitored and used in public health awareness campaigns helping people who are coping with uncertainty, facilitating the internalization process of acceptance as well as promoting help-giving attitudes. Memes could be utilised as health communication techniques to influence Internet users.


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How to Cite

Wójta-Kempa, M., Wolska-Zogata, I., & Jarynowski, A. (2022). Memes as culture repositories - social emotions during “Stay at home” phase in Poland from public health perspective. E-Methodology, 8(8), 35–47.



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