memes and determinism

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon 06 Oct 2003 - 13:21:05 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: memes and determinism"

    Hi everyone,

    A quick question, conceived whilst reading over some set reading for a lecture I'm doing today on media technology and society, looking at theories of technological determinism and cultural materialism.

    My question is: are memes determined or determining? Or to put it another way, are memes causes or effects (of socio-cultural processes)?

    I think this could be very important for the reaction to and interpretation of memes.

    For example, if memes are effects of socio-cultural processes, then you could (hypothetically) take away the roman occupation of palestine, or the treaty of versailles from post-WWI Germany, and perhaps christianity and nazism never rise? (in both cases the context of societies unified in their feelings of oppression, unfairness caused by "others" etc. contributed to their success as ideologies)

    Just throwing it out there, in the hope that someone out there might like to discuss memes.


    (Incidentally, I may not get a chance to follow up responses until later in the week or next week as I've got a lot of teaching over the next few days, but I will respond to anyone who feels like chipping in eventually.)

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