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katlittrell's picture

Culture Bricks

I agree.

The idea of a meme is a useful one in that it allows us to have a concept of bite-size pieces of culture, but when we move away from things as small as internet memes (LOLcats, or double rainbow, for example) I find it increasingly hard to define what a meme is. Is love a meme? Is the idea of wearing jeans a meme? If all of culture can be broken down into memes, why are we finding it so hard to do so?

The building blocks of culture are no regular size or shape. Oversimplifying culture into a collection of memes seems counter intuitive and denies much of the rich complexity and ambiguity which is what makes culture such a difficult concept to pin down in the first place. I suppose what I'm saying is not that we shouldn't try to define our world, and culture, and break it down into smaller pieces... just that the idea of memes in particular seems limited due to its implication of regularity, of similarly-shaped bricks in the wall of culture.

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