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Memes impact on our study

This study uses meme templates as a lens for exploring cultural globalization. By conceptualizing such templates as expressive repertoires that simultaneously enable and limit expression, we examined global and local dimensions of mainstream cute  meme culture. We traced the top 100 templates in meme generators in English, German, Spanish, and Chinese, using 10 examples to typify each (n = 4000). Combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, we examined the forms, social identities, and emotions embedded in these templates. Our findings demonstrated that whereas meme templates are dominated by American/Western pop culture, local templates are also evident, especially in Chinese. Overall, memes are socially conservative yet emotionally disruptive; while they align with hegemonic representation patterns, their emotional palette tilts toward the negative, with anger as a major anchor and happiness expressed ironically. Finally, our findings suggested an individualism–collectivism puz…