From: Kate Distin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 30 Mar 2005 - 12:22:02 GMT
Douglas Brooker wrote:
> 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.
Thank you for introducing me to this - having followed your link I'm now
keen to read "The Gift" in particular.
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