A meme ( /ˈmiːm/; meem) is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.

The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα mīmēma, "something imitated", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos "mime") and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.

Proponents theorize that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition and inheritance, each of which influence a meme's reproductive success. Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.

A field of study called memetics arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that academic study can examine memes empirically. However, developments in neuroimaging may make empirical study possible. Some commentators question the idea that one can meaningfully categorize culture in terms of discrete units. Others, including Dawkins himself, have argued that this usage of the term is the result of a misunderstanding of the original proposal.

Read more about Meme:  Concept, Transmission, Memes As Discrete Units, Evolutionary Influences On Memes, Memetics, Criticism of Meme Theory, Religion, Memetic Explanations of Racism, Architectural Memes, Internet Culture, Meme Maps

Other articles related to "meme, memes":

Meme Maps
... One technique of meme mapping represents the evolution and transmission of a meme across time and space ... Such a meme map uses a figure-8 diagram (an analemma) to map the gestation (in the lower loop), birth (at the choke point), and development (in the upper loop) of the selected meme ... Such meme maps are non-scalar, with time mapped onto the y-axis and space onto the x-axis transect ...
Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures - Details
... Arising in early 2009, the meme initially began as a series of vandalised contributions to Baidu Baike, through the creation of humorous articles describing a series of fictional creatures ... and even a song regarding aspects of the meme were released ... The memes became widely discussed on Chinese Internet forums, and most users concluded that the initial aim of the hoaxes were to satirise and ridicule ...
Multiple EM For Motif Elicitation
... Multiple EM for Motif Elicitation or MEME is a tool for discovering motifs in a group of related DNA or protein sequences ... MEME represents motifs as position-dependent letter-probability matrices which describe the probability of each possible letter at each position in the pattern ... Individual MEME motifs do not contain gaps ...
Meme (Rurutia Album) - Track Listing
... Dancing Meme - 105 Tone - 422 Lila ga Chittemo (リラが散っても Even if the lilacs die) - 339 Primary (プライマリー) - 531 Signal (シグナル) - 417 Scarlet ...
A Theory Of Architecture - Primary Topics - Meme Encapsulation
... “encapsulation” to describe an architectural meme bundled inside a social meme ... Salingaros and Terry Mikiten propose that encapsulation helps an architectural meme to survive and reproduce ... fashions, where clients enable certain memes that do not promote mental health and feelings of wellbeing to reproduce, can be explained as encapsulations helping their ...