From: Douglas Brooker (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 29 Mar 2005 - 20:35:42 GMT
Kate Distin wrote:
> Durkheim: social facts as memes?
> Sociology is another area to which meme theory might be applied. For
> over sixty years, critical reception to Émile Durkheim's theory of
> "social facts" has almost always been adverse. By contrast, the thirty
> years since Richard Dawkins first introduced memes have yielded
> generally favourable criticism of his hypothesis. Yet I suggest that
> the essence of Durkheim's theory bears a striking resemblance to the
> idea of memes as autonomously existing transmitters of cultural
> information, and furthermore that to consider his social facts as memes
> is to resolve their most serious problems.
Marcel Mauss is worth looking into along these lines. (an early work was
co-authored with Durkheim, his uncle).
His "Essaie sur le Don" is his most recognised work. The discussion
includes analysis of the part of the giver of a gift that stays with a
gift when it is given and the significance of this 'lien' .
A collection, "Sociologie et anthropologie" is published by PUF and
still in print.
He developed the idea of the 'total social fact' - writing about "mana"
(like "truc") and other concepts.
Very pressed for time, so I have not been able to completely read, let
alone add more about this post but hope to return to it at the weekend.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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