Integrity Research Journals

ISSN: 2811-2407
Model: Open Access/Peer Reviewed
DOI: 10.31248/IJAH
Start Year: 2020

A pragmatic analysis of selected ASUU strike memes motivated humour on social media   |   Article Number: 17C9E7781   |   Vol.5 (2) - June 2024

Received Date: 02 April 2024   |   Accepted Date: 18 May 2024  |   Published Date: 30 June 2024

Authors:  Ibrahim Omolabi* and Kehinde Tolulope Adebayo

Keywords: ASUU, pragma-crafting, meme, humour, pragmatics.

Memes, as humorous and visually captivating pieces of content, have revolutionized the way people communicate and express themselves on social media platforms. During times of academic unrest caused by the recurring ASUU strikes, these memes have played a pivotal role in providing a creative outlet for expressing frustrations, criticisms, and solidarity among students, educators, and concerned citizens. This paper, therefore, undertook a pragmatic analysis of selected 5 (five) ASUU strike memes sourced from WhatsApp, Facebook, Google, and Twitter aiming to unravel the underlying motivations behind their creation and dissemination, with a particular emphasis on the role of humor as a primary motivator. The used critical qualitative research and purposive sampling technique to select five ASUU memes. Acheoach's Pragma-crafting theory was adopted as the theoretical framework of the study. Findings reveal that the nuanced satirical techniques embedded within the memes, including the use of humorous images, wordplay, and linguistic ambiguities, capture and reflect the sentiments and experience of students and educators during the ASUU strikes. The study revealed the significance of communication acts and non-communication acts features such as indexicals (INDXL), shared macro-knowledge (SMK), shared contextual knowledge (SCK), shared knowledge of emergent context (SKEC), contextual presupposition (CP), geoimplicature (GI), behavioural implicature (BI), pragma-deviant (PD), object referred (OR), operative language (OL), and other discourse components were used by encoders (ENCs) of verbal elements (VEs) and non-verbal elements (NVEs) in understanding the interpretation of the sense of the act in ASUU strike memes. The study concludes that the humorous responses to the ASUU strike on social media shed light on the vigorous mix of words, images, and gestures.

Acheoah, E. J. (2015). The pragma-crafting theory: A proposed theoretical framework for pragmatic analysis. American Research Journal of English and Literature, 1(2), 21-32.
Adamu, I., & Nwogo, A. (2014). Impact of academic staff union of universities (ASUU) strike on quality of university education in Nigeria. ATBU Journal of Science, Technology and Education, 2(2),112-118.
Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford University Press.
Bosco, E, Fries, P., & John, S. (2006). A pragma crafting study of selected political cartoons. Aba. Alpha Publishers
Ejima, O. (2021). A study of political humor. Enugu; Sant publishers.
Kempson, R. (2013). Pragmatics: Language and communication. Cambridge: University Press.
Kulkami, E. (2017). A stylistics study of selected political humor. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Jos.
Makinde, P. O., & Mgbodi, L. U. (2022). A Social semiotic discourse analysis of gender expressions in selected Nigerian Newspapers. Language in India, 22(5), 175-189.
Mey, J. L. (2001). Pragmatics: An introduction (2nd edition). Blackwell.
Monogbe, B., & Monogbe, T. (2019). ASUU strike and Nigerian educational system: An empirical investigation of the Nigerian tertiary institution. American Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 4 (1), 56-67.
Mohammed, T. (2016). Public discourse of 2013 of university lecturers strike in Nigeria. Journal of Contemporary Issues. 2(1), 223-224.
Nneji, O. M. (2013). Nigerian jokes as humour construction: A semantico-pragmatic study. International Journal of Research in Arts and Social Sciences, 5, 117-129.
Ogbette, A. S., Ori, O. E., & Okoh, J. O. (2017). Public Administration and Socio-economic Advancement in Nigeria. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review (Oman Chapter), 6(11), 84-88.
Ogungbe, E. O. & Omolabi, I. (2020). The pragmatics of coronavirus motivated humour on the social media. All Nations University Journal of Applied Thought, 8(1), 1-20.
Olusegun, A. J. (2014). ASUU strikes and academic performance of students in Ekiti state university Ado-Ekiti. International Journal of Management and Business Research, 4(1),19-34.
Ross, A. (1998). The language of humour. London, UK: Routledge.
Shifaman, A. (2013). A pragmatic study of selected memes on facebook. An unpublished BA Long essay. KASU.
Simpson, P., & Mayr, Y. (2010). Language and power. Routledge
Tahir, H. (2013). ASUU strike and faltering university education. Vanguard August 25, 2013. Retrieved 27th February, 2024 from
Tumir, A. (2017). The issues of ASSU strike in Nigeria. Retrieved from
Tilije, A., & Balogun, O. (2022). Collateral effects of strike actions by Academic Staff on Undergraduates in Public Universities in South West Nigeria.
Ugwuona, C. N. (2016). 2013 ASUU strike discourses in Nigeria: A critical discourse analysis. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 7 (2), 435-444.
van Dijk, T. (ed.), (1997). Discourse studies. A multidisciplinary introduction: Discourse as Social Interaction. London: Sage.
Wen, E. (2014). Language and ideology. Oxford: Oxford University, press.