From a marketplace to a Cultural space: Online meme as an operational unit of Cultural transmission

Junhua Wang, Hua Wang

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

16 Scopus citations


Culture as a research site and tool has been well established in the field of intercultural business and technical communication. In recent years, the perspective of culture as an ongoing process responding to contextual forces has been widely embraced in the field. Acknowledging the dynamic nature of culture helps communicators make contextual evaluations in intercultural business communication practices. While researchers strive to examine the dynamic nature of culture and contextual factors' influence on culture and communication, little efforts has been made to examine the process of a cultural element's generation, development, and transmission. To understand the notion of culture as a dynamic process for effective intercultural business and technical practices, it is necessary to conceptualize or describe how a cultural element or unit originates and develops along an evolutionary path. In this study, we focus on how the online meme serves as an empirically useful unit of culture, explore an online meme's evolution process when it successfully transfers from an online marketplace to cultural space, and identify the qualities that constitute the success of the online meme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages14
Specialist publicationJournal of Technical Writing and Communication
StatePublished - Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • Internet memes
  • Taobao style
  • cultural definition of meme
  • cultural evolution
  • cultural transmission
  • culture units
  • memes
  • qin


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