Και πρώτα απ’ όλα ΤΙ είναι meme
), a relatively newly coined term, identifies ideas or beliefs that are transmitted from one person or group of people to another. The concept comes from an analogy: as genes
transmit biological information, memes
can be said to transmit idea and belief information.
A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural
ideas symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures
The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek
μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mimēma
, «something imitated», from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai
, «to imitate», from μῖμος mimos
and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins
in The Selfish Gene
as a concept for discussion of evolutionary
principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion, and the technology of building arches.
Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate
less prolifically may become extinct
, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate
. Memes which replicate the most effectively spread best. Some memes may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.
A field of study called memetics
arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model
. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that scholarship can examine memes empirically. Some commentators question the idea that one can meaningfully categorize culture in terms of discrete units.
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