Saturday, May 09, 2009

Memes.... something that people should read sociology in order to rid themselves of.

This just sort of pisses me off because it's a replication of info that's been part of studies in popular culture, media studies, and sociology in general for a long, long time. A meme is an idea that's passed around, circulated, and that remains part of human popular culture. There could be a "God Meme", a "Corrupt politician" meme, a stereotyped "Menacing Anarchist" meme, etc..., and these things would be echoed in popular culture, make their way onto television, become part of the news media's own frame of reference for interpreting things. Sounds interesting? Yes, the base concept is interesting, but it's been fleshed out by sociologists for a long long time and Richard Dawkins, the genetic researcher who coined the term, obfuscates things by putting it in a scientific framework, making a parallel between the circulation of these things and the diffusion of genes. Genes...Memes, Media Genes. My frustration is that if the people who like the Memes stuff really wanted to get into it they could find tons and tons of interesting thought on the subject written by social scientists, but because they approach it from a biological science perspective they usually spend time in the wrong section of the bookstore. They could find lots and lots of stuff, but they probably won't because they're not looking in the right places.

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