Vine Racial Comedy as Anti-Hegemonic Humor: Linguistic Performance and Generic Innovation

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This paper analyzes the semiotic features and sociopolitical commentary of anti-hegemonic Vine racial comedy in videos of Viner King Bach. The following analysis demonstrates that Vine racial comedy is heavily influenced by the generic features of African American stand-up and sketch comedians and existing multimodal genres of online discourse, but King Bach's adaptation of these features to the unique affordances of the Vine platform situates Vine racial comedy beyond the boundaries of the genres it draws on. Analysis of this digitally mediated multimodal discourse demonstrates that, while not deterministic, the medium through which discourse is constructed can significantly impact how a discourse genre is conceptually understood by expanding the semiotic resources through which the sociopolitical and discursive goals that define a genre are accomplished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-49
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Linguistic Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • genre
  • linguistic performance
  • multimodal discourse
  • online discourse
  • racial humor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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