Digital Carnivalesque

Power Discourse and Counter Narratives in Singapore Social Media

  • Hoi-Yi Katy Kan

Part of the Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education book series (CSTE, volume 10)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 11-31
  3. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 33-46
  4. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 47-65
  5. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 67-76
  6. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 77-108
  7. Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    Pages 109-149

About this book


This book challenges the framing of comedic acts as apolitical and it adopts a multimodal critical discourse approach to interrogate the performance of comedy as a form of power. It proposes using Bakhtin’s carnivalesque as the analytic tool to distil for readers key differences between humour as banal and humour as critical (and political) in today’s social media.

Drawing from critical theory and cultural studies, this book takes an interdisciplinary approach in formulating a contemporary view of power that reflects social realities not only in the digital economy but also in a world that is increasingly authoritarian. With the proposition of newer theoretical lenses in this book, scholars and social scientists can then find a way to shift the conversation to uncover the evolving voices of (existing and newer) power holders in the shared digital space; and to view current social realities as a continual project in unpacking and understanding the adaptive ways of the human spirit.

This is an important study of the conduct of power relations in Singapore’s social media discourse. Katy Kan weaves together major works by socio-political thinkers to make sense of the way digital discourses in Singapore both enable and challenge social, cultural and political narratives – and considers how this is sagaciously managed by the government.

Terence Lee, Associate Professor in Communication, Murdoch University

Theorizing the notion of power in the ever changing and shifting dynamics of the digital realm is always challenging. Katy Kan’s processing of critical theory however presents a powerful lens to unpack power relations in one of the most digitally connected countries in the world – Singapore.

Catherine Gomes, Associate Professor, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University


critical discourse analysis critical digital literacy and cultural studies carnivalesque politics carnivalization of social relations power in the digital vernacular discourse comedy as a form of power aestheticization of hegemonic ideologies digital carnivalesque practices in social media power performances in digital vernacular discourse power relations in comedic mediatized contents multimodal analysis semiotic discourse analysis performance and performativity

Authors and affiliations

  • Hoi-Yi Katy Kan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for English Language CommunicationNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Bibliographic information